Mastercard is teaming up with Bahrain’s EazyPay to enhance its eCommerce offerings.
Under the new partnership, EazyPay will be powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS), the companies announced in a Monday (Jan. 23) news release.
Maria Medvedeva, Mastercard’s business manager for Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, said in the release the partnership will support the country’s “rapidly growing eCommerce industry and ambitious digital transformation strategy.”
The partnership follows an early collaboration in which Mastercard and Eazy worked together to help small businesses and micromerchants with online payment technologies and access to financial services.
The release noted that the partnership comes as Bahrain is investing in innovations that support entrepreneurship in keeping with its Economic Vision 2030 program.
Meanwhile, the larger Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, which includes Bahrain, has experienced a significant increase in digital payment volumes over the past two years.
That’s due to an uptick in smartphone penetration, new FinTech solutions, and an ongoing movement from cash to digital payments.
Data from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) showed that in 2021, the volume of digital payments in the country jumped by nearly 50% year over year to 125.5 million transactions. In terms of mobile wallet payments alone, the Middle Eastern country saw a yearly volume increase of 196% in that same time frame.
The report also found substantial growth in the use of digital wallets in Bahrain. For example, the government-commissioned payment app BenefitPay accounted for 209 million payments just during 2021, helping to contribute to the 65.6% of transactions in the country that used contactless payments at the point of sale (POS).
The region is also home to an increasing number of digitally-savvy consumers, particularly in the United Arab Emirates, according to the “Global Digital Shopping Index,” a PYMNTS and Cybersource study.
“But the rise of digital payments in countries that have traditionally relied heavily on cash also indicates how Gulf countries like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia could now rival the sophisticated commercial ecosystem in neighboring UAE,” PYMNTS wrote last year.
The report found that UAE consumers were especially prone to using their smartphones to enhance their shopping experience, whether online or in stores. Compared to the five other countries surveyed, in almost every category, shoppers in the UAE were the most likely to use their smartphones during their shopping journeys.
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