New pre-paid cards offer discount rewards at CityStars
CAIRO: Aiming to enhance electronic payment in Egypt, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), in co-operation with Visa International and CityStars, has launched the CityStars Pre-paid Visa Electron card, granting customers a wide variety of special offers and discounts at the mall’s stores.
“Customers of the CityStars, one of the biggest shopping and entertainment malls in Egypt, will take advantage of the card’s incentives, says Yehia Koshak, a board member of the Golden Pyramids Group, the owning company of the CityStars project.
He adds that the co-operation of the three big organizations is scheduled to last five years, through which, other new services will be produced.
Tarek Elhousseiny, vice president and general manager of Visa Egypt and Libya, says the idea for the new card was initiated by both NBE and CityStars, in an effort to improve the amount of electronic payments.
“The electronic payments do not exceed 2 percent of the total payment amounts in Egypt, so we issued this card to encourage customers to shift their cash payments to electronic ones, says Elhousseiny, adding that the new card will help in raising the awareness of the importance of electronic payment and its contribution to economic development in Egypt.
“E-payments are not only much more secure and convenient, but they also support the local economy as the money remains in the banking system for economic growth, explains Elhousseiny.
He adds that the card targets youth, an age group which forms 45 percent of Egypt’s population. It will enable them to get acquainted with using electronic payments.
“This card adds a huge value to the three associations and offers new services to the customer. I think we will add something to the market and I believe this product will be recognized as a local success. However, the aim is not the mere production of a pre-paid card, but rather a continuation of this through developmental plans for the card, says Attia Salem Attia, deputy chairman of NBE.
He adds that in the future, the card will enable customers to buy products via the Internet, creating an added advantage for cardholders.
As for the risks that might result from the production of the pre-paid cards, Attia believes that the cards carry no risks; instead, he foresees development.
“To achieve real development, between 6 million to 10 million electronic payment cards must be in use through two years, says Attia to The Daily Star Egypt.