Minister of Planning, Follow-up, and Administrative Reform Hala Al-Saeed said that the government’s efforts have achieved great success in implementing the digitised services system as part of Vision 2030 for development.
This includes the implementation of electronic collection procedures for 5 million government employees and 10 Egyptian universities, the completion of the mechanisation of 2.6m agricultural holdings, issuing smart cards for farmers, as well as stopping dealing in paper cheques.
This came during a speech delivered by Al-Saeed at the second conference on the transformation to a cashless economy, organised by the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) in cooperation with the Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB) on Tuesday.
Al-Saeed stressed the importance of partnership between all of the public and private sectors, civil society, and development partners at home and abroad to advance development in Egypt.
She added that the informal sector accounted for 40% of the total Egyptian economy, noting that the informal economy is closely linked to low economic growth rates, the environment of legislation and licensing of industrial projects, and also the percentage of economically marginalised groups.
The state has made many efforts to reduce the proportion of the informal sector, including the issuance of the Industrial Licensing Law and the transformation of a number of informal economy projects to formal economy ones, headed by the cities of the Rubiki Leather Industries, the Mergham for Plastic Industries Complex.
According to Hisham Ezz El-Arab, head of the Federation of Egyptian Banks, the banks operating in the Egyptian market have made a lot of efforts to spread the idea of electronic payments and raise awareness about them. They also organised media campaigns to address the target groups, especially the youth, and spread these payments throughout the country.
He added that banks are making these efforts, recognising the positive relationship between the transformation of the huge economy, financial inclusiveness, and accelerating economic growth, as well as the state inclination to integrate the informal sector into the official system.
“Electronic platforms are one of the most important pillars of financial inclusion. Technology is expected to play an important role in the service of transforming the economy and financial inclusion, especially as young customers prefer to interact via electronic means,” said Ezz Al-Arab.
Ezz Al-Arab pointed out that the decisions of the National Council for Payments and the concerted efforts of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), the Ministry of Finance, and the banks have resulted in many achievements in the field of transforming the the Egyptian economy into a non-monetary cash based economy.
“The number of electronic cards of different types issued by banks rose to 33.5 million cards by the end of June 2017, compared to 24.6 million cards by the end of December 2016, a rise of 36.15%,” according to Ezz Al-Arab.
Ezz Al-Arab stressed that the mobile payment service is one of the most financial services most capable of achieving financial coverage in view of the widespread use of mobile phones from all segments of society.
According to Ezz Al-Arab, there are several factors that can contribute to the transformation of theto a non-monetary cash economy, the most important of which is the launch of data transmission services based on the fourth generation4G technology.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology continues to implement the database project to establish, link, and purifyimprove the national databases.
He added that regulatory and supervisory frameworks should also be developed to suit financial comprehension and the transformation of tothe a cashless economy. This includes linking the open accounts of small customers to the national ID database and other social protection systems, as well as issuing laws on free circulation of electronic information, electronic crime, and e-commerce law.
Ezz Al-Arab stressed the importance of the adoption of electronic signatures on bank accounts widely, and reduceing the cost of doing so, obligating all parties that provide public services to the public to provide its customers withbyprovide means of electronic payment without the any additional cost or additional burdens in exchange for that, and adoptinged a unified strategy for financial education at the level of the stateacross Egypt in line with a strategy , Suitable for consumer protection.
According to Mohamed El -Sewedy, president of the Egyptian Federation of Industries, the transition from a monetary to a cashless economy will have positive results onfor the the national economy.
He explained that this achieves many goals that serve both citizens, and enterprises, and the government alike. It also leads to further integration into the global economy, reducing tax evasion, creating a secure environment for saving, and thus increasing investment rates.
El -Sewedy pointed out that the recent measures, such as by the establishment of the National Payments Council and the issuance of industrial licensing laws and companies, have helped create an atmosphere to convince workers in the the informal economy to transformshift the into the formal economy.
Ziad Bahaa -El din, former deputy prime minister and managing director of Tiba Consultancy, said that a number of proposals have been submitted to the National Payments Council for Payments to implement the National Programme for the Transformation of to the ca Cashless Eeconomy.
He explained that these proposals include the representation of the civil sector within the National Payments Council for Payments. He also said Iit is necessary to present the views of the investors’ associations, businessmenpersons, and industrial zones in the decisions taken by the Councilcouncil.
He added that a clear plan for non-bank relateding financial services should also be developed in cooperation with the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA), and that there should be greater interest in sovereign payments such as taxes, customs, and pensions.