The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has issued new instructions to banks working in the local sector that call for implementing local currency transfers in the shortest possible time. The decision was undertaken at the board session that took place on 27 December 2020.
It comes as part of the CBE’s efforts to implement the strategy outlined by the National Payments Council, headed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. It also continues the CBE’s efforts in strengthening the infrastructure of payment systems and developing payment services in Egypt.
The CBE’s instructions stipulated that intra bank transfers should be executed within a maximum of two hours from the time of request. The decision applies to transfer requests made either during working hours of banks, or at any time through electronic channels.
With regard to interbank transfers, these should be executed within three hours of the customer’s request being received.
Transfer requests received by banks after 14:00 should be executed within a maximum of three hours from the start of the next working day.
Any operations that require credit approvals are excluded from the mentioned timings. This exclusion also applies to any suspect operations, such as money laundering or terrorist financing, as well as any other risks that a bank may suspect.
These instructions come as part of the continuous efforts to develop Egypt’s banking sector, and increase the level of competitiveness at Egyptian banks. It aims to provide the highest level of customer service, and the speedy completion of financial transactions in the shortest possible time.
It also aims to encourage customers to take advantage of the preferential advantages of electronic financial transactions and the technological infrastructure.
It should be noted that the CBE has cancelled commissions on bank transfers for all customers until the end of June 2021.
The instructions also touched on providing clients with confirmation that the transfer has taken place, through any of the means available to the bank. In this case, the emphasis is on taking into account the disclosure of commissions and expenses related to the remittance service by all possible means.
This should come in accordance with previous statements in this regard in the CBE’s and banking system’s law, and special instructions to protect the rights of bank clients.
The directives also included activating the use of the international bank account number, IBAN. It comes as a prelude to obliging its use for transfers at banks at a later stage, with the need to finalise notifying clients of their international bank account numbers as soon as possible.