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Thursday, 27 September 2018

National debit card “Meeza” will be rolled out by December

**#3 State-backed debit card “Meeza” to roll out nationwide by December: The central bank plans to roll out a national debit card, named “Meeza,” by December, the central bank’s Sub-Governor for Payment Systems and Business Technology Ayman Hussein said yesterday, Al Ahram reports. Pensioners will be among the first to access state benefits through the cards, which will also be used to electronically deliver payments to civil servants and subsidy recipients, Hussein said. The government will also roll out by mid-2019 a contactless payment card which will be particularly useful for quick and low-value transactions such as paying for transportation, according to Hussein.

Background: We had reported last week that the Finance Ministry is preparing to roll out a national debit card system through state-owned banks as part of its new e-payments drive. The state is also reportedly planning to introduce ATMs and point-of-sale (PoS) terminals at which people would be able to pay bills and fees for various government services. The push for digital transition and financial inclusion policies comes as the government moves to make e-payments mandatory in January and grant incentives for their use. The House of Representatives had approved amendments to the Accounting Act that ban the use of paper cheques for transactions above a set threshold and make it mandatory for all government transactions to be electronic.

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