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Sunday, 13 September 2020

New rules on mandatory cashless payments — gov’t is getting serious about taking commerce online

LEGISLATION WATCH- New rules on mandatory cashless payments — gov’t is getting serious about taking commerce online: Private sector companies and government bodies have been given six months to install electronic payment terminals on-site after the Madbouly Cabinet recently approved the executive regulations for the E-Payments Act, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in a statement The statement does not say when the regulations earned Cabinet approval. The law, which passed the House of Representatives last year, requires private and public sector entities to make payments electronically. It also aims to gradually get everyone to pay for their everyday purchases using as little cash as possible by putting limits on accepting cash as payment.

Phasing out cash in everyday life: The first phase of the e-transition plan requires businesses and state-owned enterprises in a number of sectors to only accept cash payments of up to a certain amount for different purchases, said Samar Adel, who heads the ministry’s e-payments unit. Under phase one, the ministry will put the following limits on cash payments:

  • EGP 500 for tuition fees, monthly, quarterly and annual metro passes, and retail loan installments and insurance payments;
  • EGP 1k for mobile phone and internet bills, and car fuel;
  • EGP 3k for monthly gas bills;
  • EGP 5k for monthly electricity and water bills, and non-peer-to-peer car and property rentals;
  • EGP 10k for plane and boat tickets, and non-peer-to-peer car and property sales.

B2B payments: Under the regulations, all state bodies and companies in which the state is the majority shareholder will need to pay their suppliers, contractors, service providers, and subsidiaries electronically. Private sector companies, meanwhile, will be required to do so only if those payments exceed EGP 5k, or EGP 10k if they’re buying cars or properties, said Hamdy Hosny, who leads the project management department at the e-payments unit.

Incentives: State bodies that sell products or services to the public will be allowed to offer discounts of up to 5% to anyone who opts for e-payments, according to the statement. Also on the table: Rebates of up to 3%, points programs to regular e-payers, and other financial and in-kind rewards of up to 5% of the amount paid electronically.

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