Five public and private banks will begin collecting mortgage finance instalments electronically under the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) mortgage initiative on Sunday.
Last week, the CBE and the Mortgage Finance Fund (MFF) launched an initiative to collect mortgages electronically in partnership with the funding banks.
The CBE said that this initiative comes within the framework of achieving the objectives of the National Payments Council, by developing and automating payment, collection systems, and cooperating with all state institutions to provide easier service to the Egyptian citizens.
The CBE explained that this initiative helps MFF clients to pay their housing units’ instalments through mobile wallet or ATM bank cards, rather than going monthly to the headquarters of banks.
The CBE added that the electronic payment service for the mortgage finance instalments will be free of charge, as the customer will not bear any additional burdens when using the system. The service is available on all mobile phone wallets operating in the Egyptian market.
According to the CBE, the service will be available to the public as of Sunday for the clients of the five largest funding banks in the MFF programme. These banks are the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, Commercial International Bank (CIB), Housing and Development Bank (HDB), which have more than 222,000 clients in the programme.
The CBE explained that the new system aims to provide better services to the MFF customers, by switching cash collection transactions into electronic payment method.
According to the CBE, this system relies on benefiting from the base of 14.5m mobile phone wallets users and 35m bank card holders, with the addition of new customers to achieve financial inclusion targets.
The CBE pointed out that the system contributes to saving time, effort, and money for clients of the MFF, where the system will work 24 hours, without the customer need to visit the branch.
The CBE said that the banks will open a mobile wallet for customers if they do not already have one, by simplified procedures using the national ID only, and the issuing bank will send the request to collect the instalment to the client’s mobile phone portfolio at the specific date of the monthly instalment. Through this, customer will be able to review the instalment data and then approve the payment, by entering the PIN of his mobile’s wallet.
The CBE pointed out that the new system is planning to expand in the future, to include the remaining funding sources for the clients of MFF projects, namely 15 banks and eight mortgage companies, bringing the total number of users of the electronic payment service within the system to 277,000 customers.
The NBE announced at the end of last week the implementation of the CBE’s initiative and the launch of the e-collection service for mortgage instalments.
The NBE’s Chairperson Hisham Okasha said that the bank aims to benefit from all the possibilities and technological means available in order to support electronic payment methods, to keep pace with the direction of the State and the National Council for electronic payments on the digital transformation of banking transactions.
The NBE’s Deputy Chairperson Dalia El-Baz said that the service allows payment through the mobile phone wallet or bank cards easily, where the customer does not need to visit branches to pay the monthly instalments. In turn, this allows attracting a new category of customers to enter the banking sector.
El-Baz stressed the possibility of recharging the mobile phone wallet in cash through the NBE ATM network that is available across the country, in addition to the machines of the other banks involved in the service. They can also recharge their wallet through ”Fawry” service, with the resumption of the work to increase the number of companies within the network of authorized service providers.
The service also offers the possibility to withdraw cash from the wallet, which has been launched by the bank as part of its strategy to expand the digital banking services.
Tarek Fayed, chairperson and CEO at Banque du Caire, said that it was decided to launch the service of mortgage payments through the electronic wallet “Cairo Cash”, or through deposit in the ATMs of the bank’s customers.
Fayed explained that this is in line with the government’s orientation and the initiatives of the CBE’s digital transformation, for a cashless society, and to facilitate measures for customers, by providing an easier and safer alternative to save time and effort and ease the pressure on customer service staff in the branches.
Banque du Caire signed a cooperation protocol with the MFF at the end of last week to expand the bank’s participation in financing the fund’s clients by increasing the bank’s funding to low-income citizens from EGP 2bn to EGP 5bn.