The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will bear the EGP 1bn cost needed to deploy 300,000 point of sale (POS) systems to support Egypt’s transformation to a digital economy and achieve greater financial inclusion.
This comes as part of the National Council for Payments’ strategy, which is headed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, to shift Egypt away from its dependency on cash transactions. It aims to move the country towards using electronic payments and collection services, instead.
As part of this, the CBE’s financial support comes alongside several other measures to expand the electronic payment initiative that was launched last May. This comes with the aim of enhancing financial inclusion and facilitating financial transactions for citizens.
The CBE’s Board of Directors decided, at its meeting on 29 November 2020, to issue a set of new decisions within the electronic payment initiative. The new decisions included the bank bearing the value of all POS machines spread by banks from the beginning of the initiative until November 2020.
This comes in addition to adding 100,000 new POS in governorates where there are insufficient numbers of electronic collection methods, starting from this month.
This brings the total number of POS deployed through the initiative to about 300,000, at a cost of more than EGP 1bn that the CBE will bear.
Deputy Governor of the CBE, Ramy Abul-Naga, said that the new decisions come as part of the bank’s plan to expand access to electronic means of acceptance for citizens and merchants.
The banks participating in the initiative deployed about 156,000 electronic POS across the country by the end of October 2020. The total number of such points available nationwide has now reached about 356,000, reflecting the initiative’s success in spreading digital financial services, and achieving higher rates of financial inclusion.
He added that the CBE aims to reach 1m POS within three years, providing electronic collection services to many merchants and companies in all governorates.
Amany Shams El Din, CBE Deputy Governor for Banking Operations and Payment Systems, said that the CBE decided to extend the incentive period for activating POS and quick response code (QR Code) generators until June 2021, or until the amount allocated to the incentive has been completely consumed. This incentive has been put in place to encourage banks, companies, and merchants to increase electronic transactions.
In May 2020, the CBE launched an electronic payment initiative that will last until the end of 2020, with the aim of spreading around 100,000 POS and 200,000 QR Code generators. The initiative aims to strengthen the infrastructure of payment systems and provide various electronic collection methods for merchants and companies.