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Payment Purpose Codes in Bahrain

At Bank ABC, we make it our mission to provide our valued clients with the highest quality service and support. A critical part this commitment is to keep you informed of important regulatory changes that may affect your banking needs. 

To this effect, please read an overview on the new Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Purpose of Payment Code initiative:

Payment Purpose Codes

CBB is going to introduce new Purpose of Payment Codes which are required for all cross-border SWIFT payments sent from bank accounts in Bahrain, or incoming payments received into your local bank accounts. As last updated by CBB, this mandate will become fully effective from 31st May 2021. You can find more details about this new regulation on the CBB website CBB Rulebook/ Purpose Codes.

The main objective of capturing these codes is to enhance oversight of all incoming and outgoing financial transfers to and from Bahrain. These purpose codes will also enable greater transparency and reporting on all your cross- border payments.


How does this affect you?

This major initiative affects everyone who makes cross border payments to and from Bahrain, where all banks licensed in Bahrain must only process cross border SWIFT payments with a valid purpose code. Payments to and from Bahrain that do not include this additional information or have the incorrect code could be returned/rejected. 

To avoid any delays or inconvenience, we recommend that you:

  • When creating new payments, make sure they contain a valid Payment Purpose Code as provided in the list from CBB.
  • Familiarize yourself with all the codes and choose the one that is most appropriate for your payment.
  • When the payments are going to a country that requires their own purpose codes to be included (e.g. UAE, China, Thailand & India), please consult with your beneficiary before sending out any instructions to these countries.
  • Request all your customers/payers outside of Bahrain to send transfers into your account with the accurate purpose code. You can send them the link at the foot of this page.
  • Amend all your existing cross-border standing orders and payments from your account to beneficiary accounts held overseas with the accurate purpose code. 


List of Payment Purpose Codes

For the full list of Payment Purpose Codes, examples of use and their descriptions, please click here. ​​​​​​​​​

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