The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has seen its customer deposits portfolio reach EGP 1.8trn at the end of December 2020, according to the bank’s Chairperson Hisham Okasha.
At the same time, the bank reported that the total volume of loans it has provided to customers reached EGP 866bn, with an employment rate of 47%.
Okasha said that the NBE’s customer base reached about 15.4 million in December 2020, an increase of 1.7 million customers compared to December 2019.
He added that men in the age group of 21-36 represent about 31% of the bank’s depositors, while females represent 41%.
According to Okasha, the bank’s retail banking portfolio reached EGP 123bn at the end of December 2020, compared to EGP 90.7bn in December 2019. The latest figures reflect a growth rate of 35%, indicating that the bank aims to reach EGP 143bn by the end of December 2021.
He said that the bank installed 16 new disabled-friendly ATMs as part of its strategy to support its customers with disabilities and visual impairment. The introduction of the new machines allows this customer segment to fully and easily benefit from all the services provided by ATMs without the need for assistance.
He also said that the number of the bank’s ATMs stood at 4,941 in December 2020, an increase of 705 from December 2019. A total of 66% of the new ATMs are located outside the Greater Cairo.The bank aims to increase the number to 6,500 ATMs by the end of 2023.
He added that the bank opened 38 new branches during 2020, bringing its network of branches to 541 at the end of December 2020. The NBE aims to reach 700 branches by the end of December 2023.
For his part, NBE Vice Chairperson Yahia Aboul Fotouh revealed that the bank had succeeded in increasing its credit card portfolio to 1.3m cards at the end of December 2020. As part of this, the portfolio size commensurately increased to EGP 7.3bn at the end of December 2020.
He pointed out that the bank had succeeded in issuing about 3.3m Meeza cards to many citizen segments, most of whom had not previously dealt with banks.
Aboul Fotouh added that personal loans are at the forefront of the products that dominate the retail banking product portfolio, with a volume of EGP 95.3bn by the end of December 2020. This represents about 77.5% of the bank’s total retail banking portfolio.
The volume of real estate financing by the end of December 2020 under the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) initiative covering low-interest mortgage financing to the middle income segment neared EGP 10bn given to 91,000 customers. The NBE is eyeing a target of EGP 12bn under the initiative by the end of December 2021.
NBE Vice Chairperson Dalia Al-Baz said that, at the end of 2020, the bank opened 22 branches for electronic services, with the aim of reaching 25 branches by the end of 2021.
Al-Baz revealed that the bank is currently in talks with international companies and bodies to introduce digital banking. The move comes after the NBE’s experience in launching electronic branches, which commenced with the beginning of the Egyptian government’s efforts towards digital transformation.
She added that the NBE launched a new package of services through its Al-Ahly New Internet banking services and the mobile application, Al-Ahly Mobile. It comes in order to complete the development plan set by the bank to expand the current digital banking services.
This package includes, for the first time, the possibility of making transfers between local accounts, using the international account number IBAN, as well as making transfers to electronic wallets through the “ACH” network. It also includes making payments available through Fawry, as an electronic payment service provider.
She noted that the bank has signed cooperation protocols with e-payment platforms Fawry, Aman, and Khalis to make 70,000 POS machines available. It comes as part of the bank’s aims to activate the initiative recently launched by the CBE to activate electronic payment services.
Al-Baz added that the bank has achieved more than 71% of the target under that initiative, as the total number of POS machines stood at over 169,000 machines by the end of December 2020. The bank plans to reach 240,000 machines by the end of 2021.
She said that the bank has launched services to activate payment cards and credit cards through ATMs and digital channels. This comes with a comprehensive update of the official website, to spread banking awareness for all banking and digital services and products.
For his part, Karim Soos, Retail CEO at the NBE, said that the bank is working to develop the services provided through the Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) as the only provider of this service in the banking market in Egypt.
Soos confirmed that there is a positive increase in customer demand for internet and mobile banking services, especially in light of the repercussions of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The total number of individual customer subscriptions to the Al Ahly Net service reached 5.4 million, with a transaction volume of EGP 417bn. The number of companies subscribed to the service reached 46,000, with a transaction volume of EGP 38bn.
He added that, in the period between the service’s launch to December 2020, the number of e-wallets reached 1.8m. The bank has also made registering at phone cash wallet available for existing customers through the bank’s official website.
The number of e-wallet transactions increased by 3.3 million by the end of December 2020, reaching 11.6 million transactions. This is compared to 8.3 million transactions in December 2019 with a volume of EGP 2.9bn, and EGP 1.1bn before the recent repercussions of the corona virus. The figures show that the number of e-wallet transactions increased 164%, or EGP 1.8bn, in volume.
In the context of its interest in the remittances of Egyptians abroad, the bank signed a cooperation protocol with Egypt Post to make remittances available through post offices.
The service allows customers to receive remittances through the NBE and disburse them though the various post offices located across the country. Moreover, a cooperation agreement was signed with Ripple to allow the use of the block chain technology in terms of receiving remittances from abroad.