Egypt's Ministry of Finance plans to replace five million current payment cards, used to disburse state employee dues, with free Meeza payment cards, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait announced Thursday.
Meeza payment cards allow state employees to withdraw cash from ATMs, shop online, pay governmental dues through the government payment and collecting system, and to purchase goods at electronic purchasing points (POS), according to Maait.
Maait said that Egypt is witnessing a new phase of digital transformation with an aim of achieving goals of financial inclusion, through which citizens can obtain services needed at their real cost.
He added that the drive is consistent with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's directives on a gradual transformation to Digital Egypt, a national project that is one of Egypt's economic priorities.
"Egypt has made significant strides in this regard. All electronic systems in the finance ministry are expected to be fully completed by the end of June 2021 in line with Egypt's national project of digital transformation," Maait stated.
Maait added that the electronic payment and collecting system targets saving around 25 percent of the currency issuance cost and about 50 percent of the time required to get a service, in addition to reducing the number of procedures being taken, by which Egypt's ranking in global indices would improve, specifically in global competitiveness in doing business, and transparency.
The head of the Electronic Payment and Collecting Unit at the finance ministry, Dalia Fawzy, revealed that Banque Misr, the National Bank of Egypt, the Housing and Development Bank, the Arab African International Bank, Emirates NDB, the United Bank, Banque du Caire, the Commercial International Bank and the Arab Banking Corporation will contribute to the project in the trial phase.
Under Egypt's Strategic Vision 2030, the government has adopted a digital transformation project that aims to shift all payment and collecting processes to electronic means.
Given that the Covid-19 crisis has proved the importance of electronic payments and collecting, in order to contain the pandemic, Egypt's government has decided to fast-track the digital transformation project and to expand fintech solutions.