The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has approved the rules governing payment card service codes, allowing contactless transactions via mobile apps within the framework of the strategy of the National Payments Council to support the digital transformation of the Egyptian economy.
According to a statement by the bank, the new rules are a continuation of the CBE’s proactive efforts to promote digital development, as coding allows payment cards to be registered on smart device applications, and used to complete payments on electronic points of sale, or online purchases in an easy, secure and innovative way.
The bank explained that the issuance of the rules governing card coding services on electronic device applications allow the activation of the services of many international companies, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and others, as well as financial technology companies, which in turn will lead to the creation of huge opportunities to provide innovative financial solutions that are compatible with customer requirements.
It pointed out that in addition to the many advantages offered by the service to customers, the new system will also help reduce the time and costs incurred by banks operating in Egypt in providing the service, as well as enabling exporting banks to digitize payment cards of all kinds.
The launch of the new service in the Egyptian banking market comes within several projects launched by the CBE to promote the transition to a society less dependent on cash, including mobile phone wallets and the real-time payment network, up to the issuance of card coding services on electronic device applications, which are expected to Banks will activate their services to their customers.
The rules regulating that service included banks providing or accepting card coding services on electronic device applications to abide by the Anti-Money Laundering Law promulgated by Law No. 80 of 2022 and its amendments, its executive regulations and amendments, as well as the supervisory controls for banks of combating money laundering and terrorist financing issued by the CBE and due diligence procedures for bank customers in force issued by the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Unit.
The CBE stressed the need for a mechanism to monitor operations suspected of money laundering or terrorist financing, and ensure that transactions-related systems are linked to anti-money and terrorist financing systems and systems for detecting clients included in negative lists.
The CBE’s instructions also stressed the need to pay attention to the guiding indicators to identify operations suspected of involving money laundering or terrorist financing in the banks’ regulatory controls in the matter of combating money laundering and terrorist financing issued by CBE.
The CBE indicated that in the event of suspicion of any transactions that take place using cards that are encoded on applications of electronic devices and include money laundering or the proceeds of a predicate crime or terrorist financing, the unit must be immediately notified of the combating money laundering and terrorist financing in this regard.
The CBE stressed the need to follow the unit’s website to identify updates regarding the negative lists by deleting, adding or modifying them. It explained that banks that wish to obtain licenses to provide card coding services to their customers must submit a request to the Banking Affairs Sector of the CBE to obtain the necessary approval.
The CBE said that banks must fulfill the necessary technology and cybersecurity controls to secure infrastructure, systems, applications, and all information and data in their various states, including transferring, processing, storing, and keeping in backup copies to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, and compatibility with the general framework of cybersecurity.
It stressed the importance of presenting a three-year work plan that includes the number of customers and cards for the customers to whom the service is intended to be provided, and that the plan includes the number and values of the annual transactions that are intended to be implemented using the cards that have been coded, and to present a comprehensive marketing plan to introduce the service and activate its use, provided that the approved budget for that is clarified in the plan.