Euronet Worldwide recently contracted with one of Egypt’s private banks to deploy an ATM network for the tourism sector.
According to Mohamed Mousa, vice president at Euronet Worldwide and managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Pakistan, the company is an industry leader in global electronic transactions and payments and facilitates payments between financial institutions, retailers, service providers and consumers.
Euronet Worldwide provides its products and services to around 45 financial institutions across the Middle East, Africa, and Pakistan region, offering services and products to around seven banks in the Egyptian markets.
“Through our three segments – EFT, epay and Money Transfer – we offer ATM and POS services, prepaid mobile top-up and gift card solutions, as well as cash-based and online global money remittance and payment services.”
Mousa is one of few Egyptian young professionals who is holding a major position in international companies, and is also distinguished in providing a different service to the Financial Sector in Egypt which is one of the most important sectors in the local market.
Daily News Egypt interviewed Mousa to know more about the company’s business worldwide and in Egypt, as well as its plans to expand in the local Egyptian market.
Can you tell us more about the company’s services?
The services include comprehensive ATM, POS, and card outsourcing services, card issuing and merchant acquiring services, software solutions, cash-based and online-initiated consumer-to-consumer and business-to-business money transfer services, and electronic distribution of prepaid mobile phone time and other prepaid products. Euronet’s global payment network is extensive – including 47,209 ATMs, approximately 279,000 EFT POS terminals and a growing portfolio of outsourced debit and credit card services which are under management in 53 countries; card software solutions; a prepaid processing network of approximately 687,000 POS terminals at approximately 334,000 retailer locations in 45 countries; and a global money transfer network of approximately 389,000 locations serving 149 countries.
When did the company begin working in Egypt?
We began our business in Egypt in 2001 with our Cashnet service, an interbank ATM network managed by Euronet, that provided approximately 100 ATMs. The company then expanded in the Middle East through establishing offices in Bahrain and Dubai, to serve the GCC area. Following the Middle East, we started the business in Pakistan which is one of the biggest countries in our operations in the region.
What are the company’s recent businesses with banks in Egypt?
We have recently contracted with one of the private banks in Egypt for the deployment of an ATM network where there is a boom in tourism.
We are currently implementing this project, and we will target to go live in 2020. The service will also be available for all in-country bank customers.
On top of this ATM initiative, Euronet is expanding its Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) services in the Egyptian market. This will benefit local banks in Egypt by creating a new stream of revenues for acquiring foreign transactions. Euronet is currently implementing the solution with one of the banks, targeting to go live in 2020.
In addition, Euronet intends to support the payment strategy of the country through payment automations in several sectors like the education sector to promote the cashless society strategy of the country.
What distinguishes your services from other service providers?
Euronet is a one-stop shop for financial institutions, retailers, and consumers through a portfolio of unique services that include EFT services, prepaid services, money transfer services. Also, we have developed industry-leading payment and transaction processing technology that enables us to quickly develop state-of-the-art products for the emerging requirements in the financial sector. These products not only run our business but are also available to banks and processors through our REN Ecosystem and Digital Integrated Payment Cloud.
How do you see Egypt’s tourism sector?
Thanks to the government’s efforts, especially by Rania Al Mashat, Egypt’s (former) minister of tourism, Egypt’s tourism sector is booing in revenue. Egypt scored its highest tourism revenue ever in 2019, and I expect that in the year 2020 it will exceed the highest number of tourists since 2010
How much remittances coming to Egypt in the current period?
The remittance that entered Egypt in the last financial year (2018-2019) is slightly above USD 25 bn, and this is one of major contributors of the country’s GDP.
What are the main countries from which Egyptian expatriates send their money?
GCC countries are the main ones with Saudi, UAE, and Kuwait making the majority of these payments into Egypt, followed by some of the countries in the Middle East such as Jordan. There are some European countries as well.
Euronet supports all forms of money transfer across all channels including Cash at specified locations, cards-to-cards transfer, cards-to-account transfer. We also support different platforms for the initiations of these transactions through both cash and digital forms.
Do you plan to increase your share of Egyptian remittances?
Yes, we are currently working on increasing our network in the main send markets to Egypt across the GCC and ME region, as well as increasing our pay-out network in the Egyptian market itself through more pay-out locations to gain more market share.
What are the currencies you transfer?
Euronet has locations in different countries worldwide, so we accept wide variety of different currencies for money transfer. Usually Egyptian prefers the pay-out in US Dollars, Euros, or Egyptian pounds. Euronet supports all of these.
Do you have concerns regarding Egypt’s inflation rates?
Thanks to the efforts done by both the Central Bank of Egypt and the government, inflation rates are under control. We are witnessing a decrease in the year-to-year inflation rate, which I believe will continue with the recent reform actions taken.
What is the value of the company’s turnover worldwide?
For the year 2018, Euronet reported a full year revenue of USD 2.5 bn.
What is your expectation for the Egyptian economy in the coming period?
I believe the Egyptian economy has been performing extremely well and that all the published indicators and positive news reflects that it is moving in the right direction. I believe the country’s leadership has established a very solid base of the economy, especially with the digitisation process that the government and the whole country is undertaking. This process will help tackle the parallel economy and merge it in the formal country economy to make a major contributor to the whole country’s growth.
Do you expect more foreign direct investments (FDIs) coming into Egyptian market?
Yes, I do. Egypt has solved several problems that faced foreign investors in the previous period such as revenue transferring outside the country and currency fluctuation. I believe that the local market will witness more FDIs in electronic payment services as it is one of the most promising markets. There is still a need for more services. It is a big market of consumers and that is why Euronet is positively investing in the Egyptian market.