Mastercard teams up with Egypt’s CBE, EBC to develop tokenisation in local market

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 May 2023

Mastercard has partnered with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the Egyptian Banks Company (EBC) to facilitate the implementation of the central bank's regulations for tokenisation and develop relevant infrastructure for banks operating in Egypt, according to a statement on Tuesday.

Online payment.
A man holding a phone and a banking card.


Tokenisation allows for seamless and secure digital payment transactions for millions of Egyptians, by replacing sensitive customer data such as payment card primary account number with a unique identifier, or token, which can then be used to complete mobile point-of-sale transactions, in-app purchases, or online purchases safely. The usage of the token acts as an alternative to using information from banking cards.

Mastercard's partnership with the CBE and the EBC comes in line with the goals of Egypt Vision 2030 for digital transformation and financial inclusion.

In March, the CBE's board approved the governing regulations for the tokenisation of payment card services on electronic devices.

“The CBE issued the new regulations for payment card tokenisation to drive digital payments innovation, support the transition to a cashless society, and attract international players to the Egyptian market. This will strengthen Egypt's position as an innovation hub for new payment services in the Middle East and Africa region,” said the CBE's First Sub-Governor for Banking Operations and Payment Systems Amany Shams El-Din.

“As Egypt advances the adoption of innovative and safe digital payment solutions, Mastercard is dedicating its global expertise and local insights to place Egypt at the forefront of financial technology across the region,” said Mastercards' Division President for MENA Khalid El-Gibali.

Tokenisation simplifies online payment and card management and accelerates checkouts through the secure storage of the digital version of payment cards on smartphones. With that technology, transactions can be completed through tokens that are uniquely generated for a single card at a specific merchant. 

Financial inclusion in Egypt improved between 2016 and 2022 by 147 percent, as per a report by the CBE issued in April.

The overall number of Egyptians who now have accounts in banks, Egypt Post, mobile phone wallets, or prepaid cards has reached 42.3 million, which represents 64.8 percent of Egyptians above the age of 16 (65.4 million citizens), the CBE's report showed.


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