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Sunday, 4 June 2017

Gov’t takes huge step forward on mobile payments policy

A huge step forward on mobile payments framework: A number of key decisions to set up a mobile payments framework for the country were taken by the National Payments Council at its inaugural meeting headed by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Saturday, Al Mal reports. The council, which includes as members Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer and the ministers of finance, planning, ICT, justice, interior, and defense, took five key decisions yesterday:

  • It will present draft legislation governing all non-cash payments and transactions within six months;
  • All state bodies are banned from making cash payments or payments using bank cheques for amounts over EGP 20,000 to private sector entities until 1 July 2018;
  • All state bodies that serve the public must develop a non-cash payment option;
  • Eliminating fees on opening mobile payment accounts for one year after, and cutting mobile transaction fees by half for six months;
  • Developing a strategy for e-governance, and tallying services which can be made electronic.

Developing a mobile payments strategy as part of an overall “financial inclusion” policy by the government had been announced last year (see our Year in Review: The new New Deal). The National Payments Council was formed early this year with an eye to developing such a strategy. More recently, CBE Governor Amer had hinted that a mobile payment strategy was in the works. We’re beginning to see action and groundwork being laid for the policy.

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