All financial payments from citizens dealing with governmental agencies must be done electronically starting from 1 January 2019, said Egypt's Ministry of Finance in an official statement on Saturday.
The decision expands the current policy of accepting electronic payments by allowing clients to pay the government amounts less than the now-set EGP 100,000.
Any cash or check payments to the government will not be accepted once the decision is implemented, with unprocessed check payments dated before 2019 being the lone exception.
There will be a penalty of 10 percent of the payment value with a maximum limit of EGP 10,000 to cover the costs of fees incurred by the government in cases where customers do not electronically submit their payments to the government agencies, the statement said.
The transfer to a "non-cash-based society" will save a lot of unnecessary time and efforts spent in routine procedures, which will reduce the cost of cash circulating in society, a necessary step to cope with the number of increasing financial transactions.
The statement added that the move would add to the current economic growth of Egypt, and will help achieve the goals of the country’s ongoing economic reform program.
Egypt's Minister of Finance Mohamed Mait said that the move will not negatively affect current employees, especially bursars and cashiers, whose current work will become less essential.
Mait added that these workers would be re-trained to develop skills needed in other departments, while utilizing their managerial expertise.
There should be development in the working environment in ministry agencies to cope with the technological progress in the world and to enhance Egypt's economic reform plan, which includes applying the newest managerial strategies and technology in the world, Mait added.
Current reforms in the infrastructure of government financial transactions include setting up internet lines; the introduction of electronic devices in governmental institutions; introducing Point of Sale (POS) machines; and financial electronic cards that will be used by citizens to pay any government debts.
The expected complete electric payment move is part of Egypt quest to excersise efficient financial control over government transactions, and has been preceded by switching to electronic payment of the salaries to 12 million employees; replacing paper ration card with electronic ones; and introducing Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) and Government Financial Management Information Systems (GFMIS),