Egypt’s public e-bills jumped to EGP 4 billion per month in 2020, up from EGP 1 billion, growing by 250 percent, owing to the coronavirus, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said on Wednesday.
This significant leap came as a result of a number of new government services that have become available online to encourage citizens to use e-payment. The move is in line with the state trajectory towards digital transformation, he added.
In September, Maait said government service e-bills grew in one year by 223 percent at the end of July.
He noted that 10 phases, started in May 2019, of the electronic collecting system have been carried out, including the installation of 17,000 ATMs nationwide.
Maait stated that the increase in government service e-bills reflects the improvement in Egypt’s e-payment system, which helped in raising Egypt's rank in international indices, especially those focused on transparency and ease of doing business.
He added that the system is part of the Digital Egypt Project, contributing to a piecemeal shift to a non-cash economy, and enhances financial inclusion.
Maait said implementing regulations on the non-cash payment instruments law, which the cabinet approved recently, contributes to promoting e-payment in the public and private sectors. He added the ministry will give the bodies subject to the law a six-month period to reconcile by providing e-payment access to their clients.
“No extra fees are imposed on individuals for paying electronically for government services. The treasury shoulders the commissions on using the e-payment service through ATMs," he explained.
The finance ministry is collaborating with the banking sector to make payments available through the QR Code portfolios using the electronic collecting units in administrative bodies and via mobile phones, which is safer and easier amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, said Maait.
He added that the ministry is considering launching online platforms for individuals and corporations to pay bills for government services.
In July, Maait said the state budget lost EGP 3 billion in revenues from April to June as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Globally, e-payments have experienced fast growth amid the pandemic. About 60 percent of e-commerce companies and 70 percent of online third-party markets are seeing relatively higher growth rates in mobile money payments, followed by transaction through e-banking and credit cards, according to a recent report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.