Ehab Nasr – the Deputy Governor for Banking and Payment Systems at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) – said work is currently underway to launch the “Know Your Customer” project, which will enable citizens to open bank accounts electronically without visiting bank headquarters and branches.
Nasr explained on the sidelines of the financial technology conference organized by the Al-Ahram Foundation under the auspices of the Cabinet and the CBE that this project will help citizens to obtain all electronic banking services and should be completed before the end of this year.
He added that the Instant Payments project has been completed and will be launched within two weeks. This project will enable real-time electronic transactions throughout the week and even on public holidays. All banks are expected to complete their technical connection to the system by the end of next April.
Nasr pointed out that the legislative changes made to the law governing the ECB ensured the protection of digital transformation, as it included a section for payments with the aim of setting the general framework for the development of payment companies in Egypt.
He explained that many new rules have been issued to expand the financial services provided, the most important of which are the rules for providing payment services using mobile phones. They allow banks to use alternative data to assess customers’ credit, such as utility bills, with the aim of extending low-value credit to them through mobile wallets.
Furthermore, he pointed out that these amendments would help a large number of citizens to obtain low-value loans, which would integrate more citizens into the banking sector and strengthen financial inclusion.
Regarding the precautionary measures taken by the CBE to fight against the coronavirus, Nasr said that these measures have a great impact on the increase in electronic transactions. He noted that these measures will continue to be applied until next June. Additionally, prepaid cards can be issued and wallets opened for free, as well as bank transfers and cash withdrawals from ATMs.
Nasr explained that mobile wallet transactions increased from EGP 88 billion in 2020 to EGP 268 billion in 2021 – a 200% increase – and the number of e-wallets increased from 9 million to 26. million, while the number of banks providing e-wallet services increased to 23 banks. , and the number of bank cards increased from 30 million cards to 54 million cards.
In addition, transaction volume through e-commerce increased from EGP 16 billion to EGP 30 billion, while government revenue volume through banking channels amounted to over EGP 662 billion. , and the annual e-transaction volume through electronic point-of-sale (PoS) has seen a huge boom, from EGP 110 billion to EGP 170 billion.
Nasr pointed out that there has been a great development of electronic and digital transactions in Egypt over the past three years, with the number of ATMs increasing to 18,500 from 13,500, an increase of 37%. The number of PoS systems also increased to 740,000 from 68,000 three years ago, an increase of 978%.
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