Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has said the programme converting all government payroll cards into national payment cards, Meeza, on which they can also receive their salaries besides other services, will be completed by the end of the year.
The electronic cards will ensure the payment of all workers’ entitlements, and are secured with contactless smart chips.
The card will allow workers to make cash withdrawals, deposits, and transfers from ATM machines, as well as electronic purchases via the Internet, and electronic point of sales (POS). They will also be able to make payment of government dues electronically through the electronic payment and collection system.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, on Tuesday, Maait explained that the experimental phase of converting government payroll cards into Meeza cards began in 2020. Since then, the ministry has faced many challenges before the official launch this February.
He indicated that it has targeted the conversion of about 1.2 million cards during February, March, and April 2021 in cooperation with banks operating in Egypt.
These include: National Bank of Egypt (NBE); Housing and Development Bank (HDB); Arab African International Bank (AAIB); Emirates NBD; Banque du Caire; Arab Banking Corporation; United Bank; and Commercial International Bank (CIB); as well as Egypt Post.
The Minister emphasised that the current payroll cards of public workers will not be suspended until after the Meeza cards are activated.
He pointed out that the Meeza cards provide the latest technologies, and offer many benefits to the country’s workers, including offering a salary advance for only purchases up to 30% of the total monthly salary.
Dalia Fawzy, Director of the Electronic Payment and Collection Unit at the Ministry of Finance, said that the electronic payment and collection system aims to save about 25% of the cost of printing cash.
This is in addition to saving about 50% of the time of performing the service, whilst also reducing the procedures. This will positively affect Egypt’s ranking in the international indicators, especially those concerned with measuring competitiveness in terms of ease of doing business and transparency.