Banks operating in the Egyptian market began last week celebrating the International Youth Day, whose activities take place during the period from 9 to 24 August. The activities to mark the day in Egypt are being held under the auspices of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
The banks took advantage of this opportunity to attract more citizens to their customer base, in support of the financial inclusion that the CBE targets.
In a statement released to the occasion, Banque Misr announced its participation in the International Youth Day activities, which it said comes from its belief in the importance of achieving financial inclusion.
The bank added that this aims to enable all segments of society to access financial products and services that meet their different needs. These include savings accounts, checking accounts, payment and transfer services, insurance, financing, and credit.
Banque Misr expressed its keenness to provide many free benefits and offers that serve all customers, especially Egypt’s youth, as the largest age group currently prevalent in society.
In lieu of this, the bank is providing different financial products and services with free benefits and offers during its youth financial inclusion events. It includes opening accounts for new customers without fees or with a minimum amount. The bank is also bearing the stamp duty necessary to open accounts, with the free issuance of Meeza or classic debit cards.
Customers under 16 years of age are exempted from fees to issue the prepaid card TEENS, within the youth programme.
Customers aged between 16 and 30 years of age can open accounts for free and without a minimum amount. They will also be issued with a free debit card, in addition to other benefits (banking and non-banking).
As for new customers subscribing to Banque Misr’s BM Wallet through the bank’s website or through the BM Wallet application, a “welcoming credit” is added for a period of one month. Customers can use the card for all services provided by Banque Misr’s wallet, and they will also be allowed to obtain a Meeza card without issuance fees.
Clients seeking to obtain a purchase loan under the “Ma Yeghlash Aleek” (Made Cheaper for You) initiative are also to benefit from other features. These include a 1% reduction in the rate of return across all personal loans and pensioner programmes provided that a salary guarantee is furnished, in addition to exemption from administrative fees in full.
Banque Misr stressed that it is always keen on strengthening the state’s efforts to achieve financial inclusion. It has followed through with this, by participating in many initiatives and protocols to serve the community.
The bank has also adopted several programmes to promote financial education and inclusion, including supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the initiative “Nile Pioneers” under the auspices of the CBE. This initiative aims to support young entrepreneurs, and encourage emerging companies in various economic sectors by providing them with support.
Suez Canal Bank
The Suez Canal Bank (SCB) is participating in the Youth Financial Inclusion initiative to reinforce the importance of applying financial inclusion. The move stresses the bank’s vision of the role of youth and young investors, by providing all financial needs as the cornerstone of development.
Hussein Refaey, Chairperson and Managing Director of SCB, stressed the importance of providing full support to achieve financial solidarity for all under the banking sector’s umbrella, by attracting the largest segment of non-bank dealers through a range of packages. At the top of the list is allowing current and savings accounts to be opened for free, without any administrative fees or a minimum amount.
Among other services under this, is allowing free subscription to the SCB’s electronic wallet, which allows money to be received and transferred. It also provides various easy and safe payment methods without any charges, and free direct debit cards.
The services also include obtaining prepaid cards (Meeza) for free, with these cards coming equipped with a contactless feature. This protects the customer, and enables them to purchase and pay only by passing the card over the POS machine.
Refaey pointed out that the bank does not hesitate to keep pace with new developments to meet customer needs, whether through its network of 47 branches nationwide, or at its smart branch in Cairo’s City Stars Mall. The smart branch provides a high-tech banking experience that attracts many new, and particularly young, clients.
The saib Bank also aims to participate in activities promoting financial inclusion. In this context, the bank has taken a number of measures, allowing for accounts to be opened with no fees or a minimum balance during the celebration period.
The bank also allows subscriptions, by text message, to its “saib Wallet” mobile wallet application. It is also allowing subscriptions to its internet banking service, that allows customers to track their transactions without having to visit the branch.
Amr Atallah, saib Bank’s Deputy Managing Director for Business and Operations Sectors, stressed the bank’s interest in Egypt’s youth segment, and its belief that they are essential partners in development.
He also highlighted that the CBE’s digital transformation call has contributed to supporting this inclusion, and as a result, the bank is focusing on providing and developing digital products. It has set up a smart wallet, and has also started issuing Meeza cards.
Attallah added that the bank is pursuing a plan to support financial inclusion to cover rural areas, and has activated more than one product to support financial inclusion.
He pointed out that financial inclusion is concerned with different segments of society, including those with limited income, women, and youth among others. With financial inclusion enjoying such levels of advancement, it has greatly contributed to financial stability, the rise in the standard of living, and Egypt’s economic growth.
With this in mind, saib Bank had launched various products aimed at addressing different social segments, to integrate them into Egypt’s banking framework. In addition, it will also see greater moves to educate the public on finance and banking through the bank’s branches and social media, which are being undertaken as part of previous financial inclusion activities.
Industrial Development Bank
Moreover, the Industrial Development Bank (IDB) is addressing International Youth Day with a range of activities at its branches.
This comes in light of the bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) role, its interest in supporting Egypt’s youth, and its belief that youth are essential partners in development.
IDB Chairperson Maged Fahmy said that financial inclusion covers an individual or institution’s ability to access financial products suitable for their needs. This access covers current and savings accounts, payment and transfer services, insurance, financing and credit, and other financial products and services.
He explained that these services and products must be provided through legitimate channels, such as banks, Egypt’s postal authority or NGOs. With such access available, it ensures that opportunities are created for customers to safely manage their money and savings rather than their having to resort to informal means that are not subject to the appropriate controls.
Fahmy added that financial inclusion is a major factor in the country’s economic growth and financial stability, by including individuals and institutions in the formal financial sector. He noted that financial inclusion covers all social segments, including those that are marginalised, such as people with limited income, women, SME owners, children, and youth.
He added that the attention given to these groups leads to an increase in the standard of living and the state achieving economic growth.
IDB Executive Vice-President Hamdy Azzam said that the bank will be opening accounts without fees and without a minimum amount between 9 and 24 August, to encourage greater youth financial inclusion.
Azzam explained that the state’s aim in encouraging such inclusion can be further enhanced by customers studying the available financial service options and their suitability for the customer’s needs. This is, he noted, the first step under which the state can set its goals for raising the levels of financial inclusion.
He added that the second step is to pay attention to financial education and customer awareness through cooperation with government agencies. This would help reach out to the target groups in which increasing financial awareness is most important, such as SMEs, youth and women.
Furthermore, Naglaa Abdel Rahim, IDB’s Director of Public Relations and Institutional Communication and CSR Representative, explained that this is not the bank’s first time participating in integrating marginalised groups into the banking sector.
The IDB had previously announced via its official page that it will open accounts, free of charge, for people with special needs on the International Day of Disabled Persons. It has also previously announced it will be providing free accounts for women on Mother’s Day, and for the families of martyrs on Martyr’s Day.
She added that the bank has undertaken a prominent awareness campaign among its employees, with an internal publication circulated. The publication covered the most important information and common questions about financial inclusion in order to raise employees’ awareness of the effective role the banking sector plays in this.
This also comes in line with youth financial inclusion activities under the CBE’s auspices, which seeks to provide all means of support for young people.
In this context, the Attijariwafa Bank has announced it will no longer be charging administrative fees for opening saving accounts for individuals and cancelled the required minimum amount until 24 August. The bank is also allowing its individual customers to check their accounts at any time and from anywhere through its current mobile application “Attijari Mobile Egypt”.
Attijariwafa Bank has also eliminated the expenses relating to debit card issuance for SMEs during the International Youth Day celebration period, with no fees applied for opening corporate accounts.
The bank also provides a corporate account follow-up service, along with the corporate electronic banking service, to enhance digital financial services.
The Attijariwafa Bank is also providing a service for SMEs to submit financing requests, and which will also allow them to upload the required documents to obtain financing solutions through the Attijariwafa Bank Egypt website.