Banque Misr has added new controls to use credit and debit cards outside Egypt, in order to prevent the misuse of cards abroad, according to bank chairperson Mohamed El-Etreby.
El-Etreby told Daily News Egypt that customers who wish to use their cards outside Egypt must provide documents that prove that they are travelling abroad in order to be able to use the card.
Documents include the customer’s passport, visa, and ticket.
El-Etreby emphasised that the bank has not amended the cards usage limits, and that customer’s cards will not be suspended unless misuse is proven.
The bank noticed that a number of customers in several provinces placed deposits in order to obtain debit cards. Those cards were then collected by either the initial customer or someone else, who then would travel abroad and withdraw US dollars to trade in the informal market, according to El-Etrbey
The chairperson added that in order to face this issue Banque Misr would delay issuing debit cards to customers until six months after the initial deposit.
According to El-Etreby, the value of the bank’s cards abroad has increased from $52m in 2015, to $300m in 2016. An estimated $10m was withdrawn through the bank’s cards services within the last two weeks.
This issue should be confronted firmly, especially in light of the exceptional circumstances experienced by the state, and the scarcity of foreign exchange resources, said El-Etrby. Moreover, other sectors that seek to obtain foreign capital for business or investment are hindered by those who are abusing their cards abroad.