Back to the complete issue
Monday, 8 November 2021

CBE issues framework for instant digital payments

The Central Bank of Egypt has released the regulations (pdf) for its instant payment network (IPN), part of its strategy to improve access to financial services and bring more people into the formal economy. The regulations lay out the rules and responsibilities for issuing banks, payment service providers and acquiring banks, including licensing, risk management, data protection, and security.

What’s an IPN? It’s the network that links different banks and financial services providers, allowing payments sent between accounts at different banks to be credited and debited instantly.

The regulations include new transfer limits: Account holders will only be permitted to transfer EGP 60k per day and EGP 200k per month via the IPN, while the maximum for a single transfer is EGP 50k.

Banks must get a license from the central bank before they can access the network: After getting approval, they are required to finish testing their IPN portals within six months and activate their transfer services for the IPN using internet banking and mobile banking services within a year.

This is the latest step taken by the central bank to increase financial inclusion and reduce the usage of cash in the economy. Last year’s Banking Act has handed the CBE more regulatory oversight of the sector, including over e-payments and fintech. Since then, the central bank has introduced new interoperability rules to simplify transfers between different banks and mobile wallet providers, opened up savings and loan services to mobile wallet users, and is moving towards issuing licenses for mobile contactless payments.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.