Central Bank of Bahrain Starts Running Live ProgressSoft's Electronic Check Clearing Solution across the Kingdom

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The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and The BENEFIT Company (Bahrain's Electronic Network for Financial Transactions) started running today Bahrain Check Truncation System (BCTS), provided by ProgressSoft, the leading provider of innovative payment solutions. Under the supervision of the Central Bank of Bahrain, ProgressSoft has been conjointly working with BENEFIT on deploying this solution across all 29 banks in the Kingdom. The BCTS replaces the traditional physical movement and manual clearing of checks with an electronic transmission of check images between all check clearing parties, achieving a same-day clearing cycle and check truncation from the bank branch.

Sheikh Salman Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Executive Director of Banking Operations, Central Bank of Bahrain, stated that the implementation of BCTS is a national initiative to modernise and improve efficiency of check clearing in Bahrain, in keeping with global trends. "BCTS assists banks to attain an efficient and faster collection of their customers clearing funds as a result of immediate fund settlement. This enables better fund management and will enhance the credibility and trust of checks as a payment instrument", affirmed Sheikh Salman.

From his part, Mr. Abdulwahid Janahi, CEO of the BENEFIT Company stated that ProgressSoft's solution will "enable the banking community to revolutionize the old practice of check clearing by reducing the clearing cycle from three days to the same day, speeding up the cash flow movement in Bahrain". Accordingly, this results in lowering risk and cost and providing real time liquidity monitoring of bank accounts with the Central Bank. "The BCTS adds superior values to the banks and provides customers with convenience and reliability," added Janahi.

Since introducing the solution in 2001 as the world-first Electronic Image-based Check Clearing Solution, ProgressSoft has managed to prove itself as a globally recognized leader in this field. "We are delighted to launch this 7th country-wide solution for avant-garde Electronic Check Clearing. This project endorses our excellence and primacy as real-time payment solution providers around the globe", expressed Mr. Michael Wakileh, CEO of ProgressSoft Corporation.

ProgressSoft's solution has been adopted by Central Banks, Clearing Houses and banks in several countries inside and outside the region, reaching as far as South Asia. "We are determined to add this project to our long list of success stories for real-time payments and to transform banking and payments in the Kingdom of Bahrain to new paradigms," expressed Wakileh. "I must thank all of ProgressSoft team as they are the true reason for the success of this project, and I must thank the Central Bank of Bahrain and BENEFIT teams for working together with us as one team," he concluded.

About BENEFIT

The BENEFIT Company is owned by 14 commercial banks in Bahrain and licensed by the CBB to manage the ATM and POS network in addition to the Credit Reference Bureau. The BENEFIT also hosts and manages the GCCNet Dispute Management System settling all interbank ATM disputes in the GCC region. The BENEFIT Company is proud to have a professional and competent team 95% of which are Bahrainis.

About ProgressSoft

Established in 1989, ProgressSoft has been focusing its proficiency in Real-time Payments and Imaging technologies to deliver a set of innovative solutions tailored for the needs of the banking and financial sectors. Serving a diversified client base of 280+ banks in 22 countries around the globe, ProgressSoft provides solutions in the fields of Electronic Image-based Check Clearing, Automated Clearing House, Intelligent Signature Recognition and Real-time Settlement for Securities Trading.

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