The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced on Thursday that banks must notify customers by any means of communication that it is prohibited to misuse credit and direct debit cards, especially for customers who do not leave the country.
The bank stated that this comes within the framework of it observing that some credit cards and direct debit cards are used in operations outside Egypt, despite the presence of the customers holding these cards inside the country.
It added that it is prohibited to request the procurement of currency for the purposes of traveling abroad without leaving the country, and that banks must review a sample of transactions that took place outside the country, as well as requests to procure currency for travel purposes since the first of December 2022.
The CBE also confirmed that banks should report any suspicious activity or misuse of funds to the CBE so that it may investigate these cutomers.
Furthermore, it said that in the case of customers not traveling or misusing cards, the bank will be directed to suspend the card and inform i-Score to take the necessary measures in this regard.
Earlier, banks have moved to limit the use of their cards abroad to restrict foreign exchange withdrawals.
Banks allow their customers to use their bank cards denominated in Egyptian pounds of various types outside Egypt for purchases or cash withdrawals in the currency of the country in which the customer is located through a global system that allows exchanging any card currency for the currency in which the customer is in while deducting a commission to provide the service.
NBE and Banque Misr have decided to reduce international limits on debit and credit cards for the second time in three months.
This decision coincided with an additional one to increase the commission rate on dollar cash withdrawals and purchases outside Egypt to 10% instead of 3%, along with another commission of 3% of the total value of cash withdrawals only, excluding purchases, for using an ATM outside Egypt, with the addition of a fee of EGP 30 on every withdrawal at NBE and EGP 50 at Banque Misr.
Major private banks took similar steps, including CIB – Egypt, the AAIB, and Dubai National Investment Bank.