The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has decided to maintain the validity of a number of procedures it has adopted as pre-emptive measures since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak until the end of the year.
In a meeting on Thursday, the CBE decided to extend the period of suspension of fees on cash withdrawals from ATMs and to continue exempting clients from fees and commissions on banking transactions in EGP.
The CBE also decided to shoulder about EGP 50 million, which is the cost for cash withdrawals from pension payment cards to ease the burden on pensioners.
Vice President of the CBE Ramy Abul-Naga said the CBE will keep issuing free-of-charge electronic portfolios and prepaid cards for individuals while cancelling fees and commissions on money transactions via mobile phone accounts.
Meanwhile, the CBE instructed banks to exempt private-sector vendors from fees and commissions only for transactions via non-contact payment instruments, to allow them to use their accounts without the need to enter a password to encourage them to increase their dependence on non-contact payment instruments and maintain social distancing, and to promote the Tap and Go culture particularly for small transactions that do not exceed EGP 600.
In May, the CBE launched an electronic repayment initiative targeting the distribution of 100,000 points of sale and granting 200,000 free-of-charge quick response codes.
On 15 March, the CBE announced a package of procedures aimed at easing banking operations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The procedures included raising daily transaction limits on credit cards and cancelling fees and commissions at points of sale and on withdrawals from ATMs for six months.
The CBE said these measures are part of a number of procedures it has adopted to cope with the pandemic and its likely consequences. The measures are in line with the state’s target to affirm the stability of the Egyptian banking sector and to support the national economy.
The procedures include keeping bank deposits locally in branches as reserves and urging clients to use credit and debit cards instead of cash.