The Housing and Development Bank (HDB) has adopted ambitions plans for digital transformation, according to the bank’s Chairperson and Managing Director Hassan Ghanem.
He said that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has also managed to develop and implement an integrated plan to achieve financial inclusion and transform Egypt into a cashless society.
The issue of financial inclusion and digital transformation is at the forefront of the HDB’s priorities. This comes particularly with the rapid technological development that the world has been witnessing during the past few years
Ghanem added that this is clearly evident in the policies and initiatives launched by the CBE under the leadership of its Governor Tarek Amer during the last period.
Amer has issued many supervisory instructions and rules governing the provision of electronic payment (e-payment) services, in efforts to facilitate e-payments for citizens.
These instructions have also helped raise the rates of their use of electronic services in an easy, secure way. This would spread the financial culture and increase financial inclusion, which helps stabilise the banking sector.
Ghanem stressed that the HDB believes in the importance of expanding the use of e-payments, in line with the CBE policy. It also seeks to provide the latest banking services and products that are compatible with the needs of all customers.
He stated that the bank has implemented a comprehensive plan for digital transformation to keep pace with the successive changes in financial technology. It also seeks to keep up with expanding digital banking services and constantly develop them to facilitate banking transactions, and spread the culture of cashless payments.
Ghanem said the bank has developed the services provided through the electronic wallet (e-wallet) “Floosy Phone”, and activated internet banking and mobile banking services. At the same time, it has provided electronic reservation for residential units and lands, and allowed the payment of instalments on residential units electronically.
“We are interested in expanding the issuance of cards and signing a long-term partnership agreement with the MasterCard International to encourage the use of electronic payments, in addition to prepaid cards, especially ‘Meeza’ cards,” he said, “This would spread the digital financial culture, broaden the e-payment base, and increase financial inclusion rates.”
He pointed out that the rates of issuing and using credit cards increased in 2020 by nearly 90%, with the bank targeting the issuance of more cards in 2021.
Ghanem also revealed that there is a plan to spread ATMs throughout the country, in light of the CBE’s initiative and the bank’s plan. The bank currently has approximately 320 ATMs nationwide, following a 30% increase in the number of ATMs in 2020. The bank’s plan targets to increase them to 400 by the end of 2021.
Furthermore, on the back of the bank’s keenness to make banking procedures easier for people with disabilities, 25 ATMs with speech features have been installed to provide for this segment of clients.
Ghanem stressed that the bank wants to improve services to the public, especially in geographical locations where banking services are not widely available. Moreover, the bank currently has 100 branches across the country, as 10 new branches were opened in 2020.
Regarding the bank’s plans, he said that the bank is working in accordance with an ambitious strategy and has a clear expansion plan. This qualifies it to be at the forefront of major banking banks, with its abilities and the confidence of its clients.
The bank provides competitive banking services and products that suit the needs of all segments. Ghanem stressed that the bank is always working to develop its products, as well as enhance electronic services and support digital transformation.