Egyptians form an orderly queue at a bank cash dispensing machine (Photo: AFP)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has approved a new law promoting e-payment services, part of a broader govenment drive to boost financial inclusion and reduce reliance on cash.
Under the new law, approved by parliament in March, government institutions and private companies must use electronic payment to pay employees, contractors and service providers.
Egyptians will have to use a new electronic payment system to pay for all government services and all state fees, including taxes, custome duties and fines. Civil society groups, also, must use e-payement to receive donations or funding.
Preident Sisi approved the law in a decree published in the country's official gazette Tuesday.
The law’s executive regulations, expected to be issued within six months, will set limits allowed for cash payment.
Entities governed by the law will be given six months to comply with the new regulations from the date of their issuance.
Violators could pay fines up to EGP 1 million (approx. $58,000).
Earlier this month, Egypt’s finance ministry said around 7,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals - electronic device used to process card payments - have already been installed at government institutions, including real estate and registration offices, traffic departments and universities.
The new law comes into effect on Thursday, according to the official gazette.