Egypt's e-payment services record EGP 7.8 trillion: Finance minister
11/21/2023 10:47:49 AM
Ahram Online-

The value of services provided through the electronic payment and collection system has reached EGP 7.8 trillion since its launch in 2019, Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said in a statement on Monday.

The e-payment system has facilitated over 500 million transactions annually, and benefited 20 million citizens, he added.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 27th edition of Cairo ICT, Maait highlighted that this year alone, the system has generated government revenues of EGP 1.15 trillion, showcasing an annual growth rate of 20 percent.

Additionally, government payments through the system have totalled EGP 2.3 trillion, with an annual increase of 18 percent, he added.

Maait emphasized the pivotal role of the state-owned company E-Finance For Digital and Financial Investments in driving digital transformation and integrating the Ministry of Finance's systems, including the state's general budget preparation systems.

He expressed his satisfaction with the progress made in digitizing government services, which has significantly improved the efficiency of government performance and the quality of citizen services.

The Cairo ICT event, spanning four days, has witnessed the participation of five prominent Egyptian ministries, namely education, health, higher education, justice, and communication and information technology.

This gathering of ministries further highlights the government's commitment to advancing digitalization efforts across various sectors.

PAFIX conference

The 10th International Conference and Exhibition for Digital Payments and Digital Financial Inclusion (PAFIX) opened on Monday under the auspices of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) as part of the Cairo ICT activities.

Hassan Abdallah, governor of the CBE, revealed the bank's ambitious strategy for financial technology and innovation, aiming to position Egypt as a regional hub for the fintech industry in Africa and the Middle East.

Abdallah highlighted, in a speech delivered on his behalf by Deputy Governor Rami Abul-Naga, the success of the bank's strategy, which has seen the number of companies operating in the industry increase from 32 in 2017 to 177 in 2022.

Furthermore, the industry attracted nearly $800 million in investments in 2022, reflecting its growing significance.

The launch of the National Instant Payment System (IPN) and the InstaPay application in March 2022 has been a crucial milestone in Egypt's digital transformation journey, Abul-Naga noted.

The IPN has enabled real-time transfers and inquiries about balances, utility bill payments, and mobile phone top-ups.

The InstaPay application has gained significant popularity, with over 6.2 million users. Moreover, the number of electronic points of sale has exceeded 1.2 million, and the country now boasts over 23,000 ATMs.

Abul-Naga highlighted the remarkable growth in phone wallets, which has surpassed 36 million since the launch of the Meeza digital system in 2017.

Moreover, the number of electronic payment cards has also soared to over 62 million following the introduction of Meeza in December 2018.

New step

Looking ahead, the CBE plans to provide licences to financial technology companies in 2024, allowing them to integrate their cards with the real-time payment network and the InstaPay app, according to a government official on the sidelines of PAFIX.

This move aims to ensure a seamless transition and prevent any negative impact on electronic payment companies due to the availability of the InstaPay bill payment service, which is a vital offering for private payment sector companies.

Egypt's remarkable strides in digitalization, as showcased by the achievements in electronic payment and collection systems, emphasize the government's commitment to modernizing public services and driving economic growth.

The ongoing efforts to foster a thriving fintech industry in the country are poised to position Egypt as a regional leader in financial technology and innovation.