A file photo of Egypt's finance minister Mohamed Maait (Photo: Al-Ahram)
The Ministry of Finance announced it has initiated the use of an electronic signature, or a token, for its employees as part of the ministry’s pre-emptive procedures to contain the COVID-19 repercussions.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said the ministry has a plan to maximise digitisation and to make the ultimate use of technology to modernise the financial systems in accordance with the latest global standards.
The plan aims at boosting the rationalised public money management and directing public expenditures in light of the government’s priorities amid the current COVID-19 crisis, according to Maait.
Maait has instructed the electronic payment system’s employees to keep financial operations, which are carried out using the token, confidential and secure, adding that the token and its passwords are subjected to the safe possession rules.
The e-token, used for digital signature, is a password-protected device in which the digital signature is stored. The token has a special built-in software to recognise and open digital signatures.
In 2009, Egypt launched the e-signature service to facilitate electronic transactions in both government and private sector institutions and to improve the efficiency of administrative work and the performance level of government services.
The e-signature law, issued in 2004 by which was established the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), is the first Egyptian legislation for regulating electronic businesses. It supports Egypt’s e-commerce industry by securing the Internet as a legally viable medium for online sales.
To contain the COVID-19 implications and keep people safe, the state urged individuals and companies to increase the use of electronic payment and reduce cash transactions