Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait (Photo: Al-Ahram)
In Egypt, there are approximately six million state employees, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Meeza is Egypt’s national payment system, which is part of the government’s strategy geared towards digital transformation and financial inclusion.
Meeza cards are issued in cooperation with the country’s banking system, including Banque Misr, the National Bank of Egypt, Housing and Development Bank, Arab African International Bank, Emirates NBD, Banque du Caire, Arab Banking Corporation, the United Bank, and the Commercial International Bank, in addition to Egypt’s Post Authority, Maait stated.
Problems tracked during the two pilot stages in 2020 have been solved to ensure the smooth transition from payroll to Meeza cards, said Dalia Fawzy, director of the electronic payment and collection unit at the finance ministry.
Using Meeza will reduce currency issuance by 25 percent, save half the time needed to conduct a service, and decrease procedures. This is expected to contribute to the advancement of Egypt’s rank in the international indices concerning doing business and transparency, Fawzi added.
The system provides all banking services, including deposits, withdrawals, and other transactions. It also allows employees to pay government dues using cashless methods and the online point of sale system (PoS).
Moreover, state employees can withdraw, free of charge, up to 30 percent of their salary in advance during the first six months of using Meeza.
However, the service is only available for online shopping and at PoS. Cash withdrawals are not allowed.
The withdrawn sum will be repaid through deducted monthly installments starting from the 15th of every month.
The card is valid for five years.
In September 2018, Egypt’s National Council of Payments issued Resolution 2/2018 that approved the adoption of a national trademark payment system to disburse governmental payments as well as in-kind and cash subsidy disbursements.
In 2020, a circular, 133/2020, was sent to accounting units in state bodies clarifying the required procedures in preparation for launching the system.