The Board of Directors at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has approved the third edition of the rules for mobile phone wallet payment services.
The CBE has also given its approval to the rules for providing loan and digital savings services through the mobile phone wallet.
The step comes as part of the strategy put in place by the National Payments Council, headed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, to achieve digital transformation and financial inclusion. It also comes in light of the Egyptian state’s interest in all segments of society.
Rami Aboul Naga, Deputy Governor at the CBE, said the new package of rules represents a new trend in the banking sector. It allows the provision of lending and digital savings services through customers’ mobile phone wallets in real-time, as well as allowing full interoperability for transferring money between mobile phone wallet accounts.
The various banking services will positively affect the rates of activity and use, as a result of the continuous and fruitful cooperation between the CBE, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), and the Egyptian Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Unit.
CBE Sub-Governor Amany Shams-Eldin said that the new package of rules is a quantum leap in the banking business, as it allows banks to rely on the behavioural evaluation of customers in granting loans.
This includes taking into account the customer’s use of mobile phones, and the regularity in paying electricity and water bills as an alternative to traditional methods of assessing the creditworthiness of customers in approving the decision to grant instant credit.
This is particularly relevant for customers who do not have any credit history or previous dealings with the banking sector. It is set to have a significant impact on increasing the number of beneficiaries from obtaining banking credit services easily and conveniently.
It is worth noting that the Egyptian Company for Credit Inquiry, iScore, is currently working on implementing regulations for digital evaluation models used in this type of lending, in light of the CBE’s directives.
For his part, Ehab Nasr, Assistant Governor for Payment Systems and Services, confirmed that the Board of Directors at the CBE had previously approved the second version of the rules in November 2016.
He pointed out that the service is one of the most important services in the banking sector, as the number of mobile wallets accounts has now reached 20 million. Meanwhile the total value of annual transactions that took place through mobile phone wallets during 2020 is estimated at EGP 100bn, reflecting an estimated growth rate of 300% over 2019. This indicates an increased dependence of many citizens on the system in recent months.