Banks operating in the Egyptian market are preparing for the activation of the ‘Miza’ national payment cards.
In October, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced its intention to issue the Miza card before the end of this year as part of its strategy of transforming into a non-cash society and enhancing financial inclusion.
Ayman Hussein, CBE sub-governor for payment systems and business technology sector, said that the CBE had initialised the new card in the Housing and Development Bank (HDB) during the first quarter of 2018 on withdrawals through 10,000 cards and it proved successful.
Hussein pointed out that the CBE aims to issue 20m Miza cards within three years, pointing out that it will be activated for the automation of pensions and government payments.
“The HDB has completed the configuration of its ATMs to accept the Miza national debit card,” said Fathy Sebaey, chairperson and managing director of the bank.
He stressed that the HDB is a major supporter of the state’s efforts to transform itself into a cashless society.
According to Sebaey, the Miza holders will be able to get their payments, electronic transactions, payment for government services and fees, and the disbursement of various types of subsidies.
Meanwhile, the United Bank completed the technical linking between its own ATM network and the Egyptian Banks Company for Technological Advancement (EBC) in preparation for the launch of the card. All the tests required to accept the card were carried out on its own network of 200 ATMs spread nationwide.
According to Ashraf El-Kady, chairperson of the United Bank, the necessary tests are being completed in coordination with the EBC to finalise the approval of the transactions carried out through the electronic payment cards issued by the bank when they are used for government entities.
The move comes in the framework of the Egyptian state’s policy towards a cashless society by 2025.
According to El-Kady, the local figures and indicators augur the rapid transformation of Egyptian society into a cashless society praising the efforts of the state and the CBE to support this transformation by 2025.
He pointed out that the electronic payment in Egypt ranges between 2% and 3% of the gross domestic product, while the CBE intends to increase it to 10% over the next three years.
He pointed out that the strategy of the Egyptian state in the transformation into a digital society by 2025 was based on a number of axes, including opening up for innovation, developing infrastructure, increasing investments, opening new market, improving Egypt Pot services, and activating the financial inclusion. It also comes along with the important initiatives of the government and the CBE to set up a national database and expand financial inclusion.