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Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Easy KYC for micro businesses, freelancers gets a shot in the arm

SMART POLICY- Unbanked micro-businesses, freelancers, and craftsmen will be able to open accounts at the National Bank of Egypt come April with zero admin charges and minimal paperwork, Hala Wagih Helmy, the bank’s head of products and financial inclusion, told Masrawy. Freelancers or craftsmen will only need to provide their national IDs in order to open an account, while micro-business owners could also provide an official account of their income stream in the form of receipts, or other documents such as a rental contract or tax registration number, Helmy said. The state-owned bank will impose an EGP 100k monthly transaction ceiling on accounts set up by self-employed individuals, and an EGP 200k ceiling on micro-enterprise accounts.

The move comes under new KYC regulations introduced by the Central Bank of Egypt last October allowing small businesses and self-employed individuals to open bank accounts by declaring their occupation, instead of requiring proof of employment from a company or other documents proving income. The bid aims to encourage more individuals to join the formal economy, boost financial inclusion, and boost enterprise growth through access to credit.

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