Visa, Egyptian Banks Company partner to streamline remittances for expats

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 11 Feb 2024

Visa signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Egyptian Banks Company (EBC) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to facilitate and enhance the process of international remittances for Egyptians living abroad, Visa announced on Sunday.



EBC is the developer and operator of Egypt’s national payment networks and ecosystems. It serves as the technology arm of the CBE, focusing on payment system infrastructure, digitizing government payments, enhancing financial inclusion, and supporting the transition to a cashless economy.

EBC manages and develops various domestic payment ecosystems in Egypt, including the Instant Payments Network (IPN) and the InstaPay application.

This partnership aims to leverage Visa's advanced digital financial services and EBC's technological infrastructure to introduce innovative solutions for electronic payment services and digital wallets.

Since the eruption of the Ukrainian war in February 2022, remittances to Egypt have decreased substantially. Although it has started to recover over the past few months, they are still below their pre-war level.

The MoU comprises two key projects. The first involves integrating a service into the InstaPay application, allowing customers to seamlessly transfer funds from Visa-linked accounts outside Egypt into registered customers' accounts or transfer them to other customers through the Instant Payments Network (IPN).

The second project focuses on collaborating with banks and financial institutions to enable transfers to beneficiaries in Egypt using IPN's phone number or username directory.

Leila Serhan, senior vice president for North Africa, Levant, and Pakistan at Visa, highlighted the importance of remittances from Egyptian expatriates, which contribute significantly to the national income and foreign currency inflow.

She said that Egypt's large diaspora, spread across various countries, positions it as the fifth largest recipient of remittances globally.

The collaboration between Visa and EBC aims to leverage Visa's global network strength and EBC's technological capabilities to promote financial inclusion and digitization of payments in Egypt.

Tarek Raouf, executive chairman and CEO of EBC, emphasized the transformational impact of the InstaPay application on financial inclusion rates since its launch. The application has empowered customers within Egypt to securely make instant transfers between bank accounts, cards, and mobile wallets.

He added that the collaboration between Visa and EBC aims to expand the user base of the InstaPay application beyond Egypt by utilizing Visa's global presence. The partnership intends to enhance cross-border digital payments, increase financial inflows into Egypt, and stimulate long-term economic growth.

This partnership aligns with the Egyptian government and CBE’s strategies to encourage and facilitate remittances from Egyptians working abroad. Visa, as a leader in digital solutions for moving funds and electronic payments, holds the largest market share in remittances to Egypt, particularly in the Gulf region.

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