Financial inclusion rates surge to 70.7% by end 2023: CBE

Doaa A.Moneim , Thursday 22 Feb 2024

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) released the core set of financial inclusion indicators for 2023, highlighting a notable rise in the country's financial inclusion rates.

CBE

 

The number of adults (16 years and above) with transactional accounts, including bank accounts, Egypt Post accounts, mobile wallets, and prepaid cards, reached 46.9 million out of 66.4 million, according to the CBE.

As a result, Egypt's financial inclusion rate has soared to 70.7 percent by the end of 2023, up from 64.8 percent in December 2022, signifying an overall growth rate of 174 percent over the period from 2016 to 2023.

The CBE said Egypt's financial inclusion growth rate stands out as one of the best among peer countries, emphasizing the significant progress made in ensuring that citizens have access to financial services tailored to their needs. 

It added that this advancement has not only encouraged savings among customers but has also facilitated financial transactions, reduced associated costs and time, and enabled individuals to avail these services at their convenience, irrespective of their location. 

The indicators shed light on the inclusion of women in Egypt's financial ecosystem. The number of financially included women has risen to 20.3 million, bringing the total to 32.3 million being financially included until December 2023, reflecting a growth rate of 244 percent since 2016 and an inclusion rate of 62.7 percent.

Moreover, the financial inclusion rate for youth, encompassing individuals aged 16 to 35, reached 36.6 million citizens, recording 51.5 percent with a growth rate of 48.5 percent from 2020 to 2023.

“This impressive surge in financial inclusion rates can be attributed to the fruitful collaboration between the CBE, all ministries, and authorities at the national level,” said the CBE.

It added that their participation in numerous joint initiatives and events targeting diverse customer segments has played a pivotal role in achieving these significant results. 

Additionally, the CBE’s involvement in the initial phase of the Decent Life presidential initiative, which involved directing banks to establish a presence in various villages, promoting banking products and services, and improving the financial infrastructure, has further bolstered financial inclusion efforts.

In order to create an enabling environment that encourages engagement with the banking sector, the CBE has issued several regulations aimed at overcoming obstacles faced by different segments of society when accessing financial services. 

These measures include allowing individuals as young as 16 to open accounts, facilitating the opening of "Economic Activity Accounts" for artisans, and introducing "Financial Inclusion Accounts" that can be accessed using only a national ID.

In the past year, the CBE organized six financial inclusion events, held in conjunction with global events, to reach and engage with citizens in remote and underprivileged areas. During these events, banks were permitted to operate outside their branches, offering account openings without administration fees or minimum balance requirements. 

Additionally, financial literacy programmes have been disseminated to encourage citizens to utilize various financial products.

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