Mohamed Abu Khadra, the marketing director of Bee in Egypt, said that Bee for Electronic Payment Services plays a key role with banks in the financial inclusion plan, working to provide electronic payment services available on its platform, including payment of utility bills and communication services, on the electronic portfolio of the bank.
Additionally, the electronic payment companies play a major role in the expansion of banks’ plans and the spread of their services to the largest number of customers, through the exploitation of points of sale (POS) of payment companies that are spread across the republic in areas banks cannot reach, such as small villages and hamlets.
For example, Bee has over 32,000 POS nationwide. Through partnership with banks, communication companies, and government agencies, clients can pay for their bills, pay tuition fees for universities, and transfer money through these POS, which help reduce the circulation of cash and help in the transformation to financial inclusion.
Abu Khadra told Daily News Egypt that the company also signed a contract with MasterCard to provide Bee services on the MasterCard platform, in cooperation with the National Bank of Egypt.
According to the partnership between MasterCard and Bee, MasterCard holders will be able to benefit from Bee services using their cards. They can also recharge the cards through Bee’s 32,000 outlets around the republic.
As for the challenges the application of financial inclusion faces, Abu Khadra said that a lack of clear vision for the role of each party involved in the electronic payments sector is one of the most important challenges for the market, where there is no clarity of cooperation between banks and electronic payment companies.
Additionally, there are challenges because some banks do not cooperate with electronic payment companies in the most fruitful way, he added, noting that many banks refuse to make minor amendments in the operation department to allow electronic payment companies to integrate their systems with the banks. Moreover, some banks do not understand the services in the first place.
According to Abu Khadra, the implementation of the financial inclusion plan in Egypt depends on the integration and cooperation between several key parties: the government, private sector, banks, and electronic payment companies.
He believes that there are serious steps being taken in the framework of financial inclusion, including the presidential decision of collecting all taxes electronically and the establishment of the National Council for Payments.
In terms of the technological structure, he said it is appropriate and ready to host the spread of financial inclusion, especially with the rapid expansion of internet use and the launch of 4G services, which will increase the number and quality of services provided through the internet and via mobile devices, next to the presence of an adequate number of electronic payment companies in Egypt. There are now five main companies providing their electronic payment services in Egypt: Fawry, Bee, Masary, Aman, and Sadad.