Egypt on Wednesday commenced the implementation of the government’s new e-payment act, using Suez Canal city of Port Said to kick-start.
The e-payment regulates cashless payments and assists the country on its journey towards digital transformation and financial inclusion.
The act obliges people to pay government fees, taxes and services electronically whenever they exceed LE500 at allocated points of sale (POS).
If the payer chooses to pay in cash, a 10 per cent fee will be added.
The platform for the new network in Egypt’s public-sector bodies has been completed, but as has been the case in the past with new e-payment systems, IT expert Khaled Derbala said that it was not enough.
People can pay their dues from salary e-cards, credit cards, debit accounts, and pension cards or buy rechargeable cards to conduct their transactions, said Mohamed Ibrahim, head of the digitisation unit at the Ministry of Finance.
He noted that for six months, individuals may acquire, free of charge, prepaid cards at several banks including the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, Commercial International Bank and the Agricultural Bank of Egypt.
He added that different government bodies have already created databases that would enable citizens to pay directly for the services through their bank accounts.
The government is focused on applying the digital transformation to the country’s formal economy only, which represents 29 per cent of GDP, ignoring transactions taking place in the informal economy, Derbala told Al-Ahram Weekly.