Introducing payment solutions to Egypt and the conversion to a cashless society is an ongoing process, and MasterCard has been collaborating with the government in order to reach that target, according to president of MasterCard’s MENA division Khaled Elgibaly.
One of the main projects carried out in collaboration with the government is the conversion of government salaries from cash to digital—currently EGP 4.6bn out of EGP 6bn salaries are already cashless.
The transformation into a cashless society comes with many perks. First of all, it reduces the cost of cash while increasing the efficiency of transaction. Secondly, societies with a high prevalence of cash correlate with more corruption, whereas cashless societies, where every transaction is recorded, limits corruption.
Mobile phones are the future of payment technology. Egypt ranks high on the mobile payments index with almost one-third willing to do person–to-person transactions via mobile, Elgibaly said.
Cashless societies require good telecommunication networks. This, alongside the current boom in mobile technology, will increase the rate of cash conversion.
Moreover, Elgibaly added that to ensure an effective solution is built, mobile network operators should be aligned with the Central Bank of Egypt.
Globally, almost 2 billion people are not connected to any banking systems, he said. Elgibaly said that the banking processes must be facilitated and the minimum amount required for banking transactions be reduced in order to make the banking sector more inclusive, as the majority of that 2 billion are low-income citizens.