Banks operating in the local market will start on Sunday to monitor and follow-up on purchases and cash withdrawals made with debit cards outside Egypt.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issued regulations on Thursday to organise the use of debit cards issued in local currency outside Egypt.
The CBE said in a statement that these regulations will apply only to individuals who misuse their debit cards to acquire large sums of foreign currency without a clear purpose. Such practices deplete the banks’ resources of foreign currency unjustly, according to the statement.
Debit cards work by deducting money directly from the user’s bank account when using his debit card for cash withdrawals or purchases.
The CBE asked banks to carefully track the use of debit cards that have been recently issued to customers, warning them to not suspend any card used normally to avoid unnecessarily halting individual transactions.
The CBE told the banks to keep all existing cards, whether debit or credit, without any change in light of the instructions in each bank.
CBE Governor Tarek Amer said in a press statement on Thursday that the CBE warned banks against currency traders who use these cards in speculative trading. He added that each bank is entitled to set limits on cash payments in foreign currency abroad by debit cards issued in local currency. He pointed out that banks should be aware of some customers who use debit cards to acquire large sums in foreign currency for purposes other than tourism or purchases.
According to the head of a major bank, all the processes conducted by debit and credit cards are subject to monitoring and follow-up, adding that any misused card will be suspended immediately.