Amany Shams Eldin, First Sub-Governor for Banking Operations at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), said that one billion electronic transactions worth EGP 2.8trn were carried out during fiscal year (FY) 2020/21, compared to 700 million e-transactions worth EGP 1.8trn during FY 2019/20, with a growth rate of about 49%.
Shams Eldin’s remarks came during her participation in the People and Banks Conference, which was held on Wednesday and discussed the role of the banking sector in supporting sustainable development.
During her moderation of the electronic payments session at the conference, she stressed that the Central Bank is completely confident of the information security of banks, but we need to educate citizens about this matter more.
She indicated that the Central Bank is adopting a strategy for the continuous development of electronic operations, in conjunction with customer awareness.
She explained that CBE has established a new cybersecurity department, which includes experts at the highest level, to educate banks about this matter.
For his part, Ehab Nasr, Assistant Sub Governor for Payment Systems and Business Technology Sector at CBE, revealed that the bank will launch during the next two months the instant settlement system for retail payments.
He stressed that the decision to establish the National Payments Council, headed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, had a positive impact on the development of the electronic payments system in the country.
He explained that the Central Bank has prepared an integrated strategy for the transformation of the cashless society, pointing out that this strategy relied mainly on building a very strong infrastructure to withstand this transformation process.
He added that the Central Bank’s strategy included the work of the instant settlement system for payments to ensure the safe completion of transfers.
The local payment network system, Meeza, has also been established, in addition to the work of the mobile switch for Mobile Payment, and the “RTGS” system.
Nasr revealed that the Central Bank spent EGP 8bn to encourage electronic transactions and lift the burden on citizens and employees of the banking sector.
He said that the Central Bank is working to enable customers to open bank accounts using just their mobile phones without going to branches.
Nasr indicated that very soon customers will be able to open accounts through a mobile phone, stressing that the Central Bank is working hard on this matter.
In the same context, Nasr revealed that the number of electronic payment cards in the Egyptian market has risen to 52 million.
He added that the number of mobile wallets reached about 23.5 million, pointing out that the volume of transactions made via mobile phone increased from EGP 55bn before the coronavirus to EGP 175bn. He added that the number of POS devices also increased from 72,000 to 700,000.
Nasr revealed that the Central Bank is studying the issuance of cryptocurrencies, as this matter is currently being discussed.
It is scheduled to issue the operating rules regulating the work of digital banks by the end of this year, which include their capital and operating standards. He pointed out that five banks have applied for digital banking licences.