Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer discussed with Ajaypal Singh Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard, intensifying the company’s efforts in pushing digital payments in Egypt.
During the meeting held last week, Amer stressed the CBE’s support for expanding digital payments in Egypt within the framework of the government vision 2030, with the aim to create a competitive and balanced digital economy characterised by diversity.
Banga affirmed his company’s commitment to support the Egyptian government’s tendency towards shifting to a digital economy. He praised the CBE’s continuous efforts in setting regulatory frameworks of digital payments, reacting to local market needs, and communicating with key partners, experts, and major companies.
Banga noted that the CBE’s initiatives pave the way for achieving the objectives of financial inclusion targeted by Egypt, through the adoption and application of electronic payment technology and solutions.
He added that Egypt has launched the first electronic payment platform for mobile phones in 2013, and activated the interoperability service in June 2016. Egypt became one of a few countries in the world that managed to activate that service in all banks and mobile phone operators.
The mobile payment service can contribute to achieving financial inclusion in light of the wide spread of mobile phones in Egypt, especially among the low-income and youth, who can access banking services quickly and at the lowest cost around the clock.
Egypt managed to be one of the region’s leading electronic payment markets through launching significant initiatives in the recent years, said Magdy Hassan, general manager of MasterCard in Egypt and North Africa.
Hassan added that Egypt was one of the first countries in the world to implement the electronic payments system through mobile phones, stressing that this achievement could not be achieved without the Egyptian government’s insistence on development of financial inclusion in the country.
He pointed out that MasterCard’s cooperation with the Egyptian government has enabled 4.6 million government employees to receive their salaries through MasterCard cards, which can also be used for shopping, as they offer 60,000 points for purchases across the world.
According to Hassan, MasterCard currently aims to work closely with the CBE to help in achieving the Egyptian National Payments Council’s objectives and creating an appropriate regulatory environment to accommodate and develop innovative technology solutions in the financial sector.
Hassan affirmed that Egypt has proven itself as one of the most important markets that supports startups in the financial technology field, competing strongly with the markets of the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Jordan.