Technological structure in Egypt meets needs of digital banks: Stakeholders

Egypt has recently pumped significant investments in the technology sector

  
Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

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During a seminar organized by the Edge Innovation Center, banking leaders and consumer funding companies have stressed that Egypt has recently pumped significant investments in the technology sector.

Edge Innovation Center, a leading mega project of Raya Smart Building, a subsidiary of Raya Holding for Financial Investments, organized a seminar, entitled “Digital Transformation and Future of E-Commerce”, last week.

They said that the technological structure in Egypt is able to meet the needs of digital and traditional banks, and all national projects in the areas of digitization and financial inclusion.

The seminar was opened by Ahmed Ibrahim, CEO of Raya Smart Building, who said that COVID-19 had a significant impact on accelerating the digital transformation process. He noted that the flexibility of companies and their ability to adapt were main factors for their success, as new innovative solutions continue to be provided to strengthen the confidence of customers.

Sherif El-Behery, Managing Director of Misr Digital Innovation affiliated to Banque Misr, said that a digital bank is an important banking step towards financial inclusion. Banque Misr opens nearly 40,000 banking accounts on a monthly basis.

He pointed out that the launch of the Digital Bank of Egypt comes within the framework of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s initiative, “Egypt Digital” and the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) efforts to achieve financial inclusion and digital transformation to turn into a cashless society.

He added that all papers and documents will take digital forms, especially loans, which require the signature of clients.

He said that the digital bank offers a new package of banking services for young people, which suit their needs. He noted that getting a loan from the digital bank requires only five days.

Banque Misr provides the first digital loan and an integrated digital product in Egypt for small enterprise customers in only five days.

Enas Kadry, head of telecommunications, sustainability, and customer satisfaction at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Egypt, said that the bank has achieved major success in digitization, as 50% of banking transactions have become digital.

She stressed that digital transformation in banks is no longer just an option. Total of 57 million Egyptians use the Internet and 47% of the people use social media, mostly young people, making the size of electronic commerce EGP 50bln.

She explained that the pandemic has caused many financial institutions dealing with the public to train their employees to keep pace with technological development.

She referred to the importance of spreading the culture of digital banking transactions among senior clients. This should be the mission of bank branches.

She revealed that the bank has launched a new integrated vision for financial inclusion, which targets people with disabilities, making the bank one of the first banks to integrate this segment into the banking system.

She stressed that the bank launched a number of initiatives to integrate various groups of society in the banking system and ensure economic empowerment is achieved, as part of an ambitious vision developed to accomplish the goals of sustainable development.

Kadry noted that the bank had achieved distinct successes in this file during a brief period of no longer than a year, since its commercial brand was launched in Egypt. The Bank has trained customer service agents to deal with sign language and provide this service through its branches across the Republic. Moreover, the initiative is the first of its kind in the Egyptian banking sector. This will make it much easier for clients with hearing disabilities who normally require an interpreter.

Mohammed Wahby, CEO of Aman for E-Payments, said that Aman promotes the Egyptian state plan towards digital transformation and financial inclusion to reduce the reliance on cash. The company also targets facilitating payment and collection processes for clients through 700 electronic payment services via a network of more than 120,000 traders nationwide. It focuses its efforts to transform into a cashless society.

“We are now working on offering a number of government services in cooperation with the government. These include a service for payment of utility bills through Khales company, affiliated to e-finance,” he said.

Total of 1.25 million transactions are made daily via Aman. In addition, 60,000 traders now can accept card payments or use e-wallets, of whom 2,000 already conducted a lot of digital payments, and the company has a plan to increase their number to 25,000 by the end of 2021.

On the other hand, Hazem Moghazy, head of Aman for Financial Services, stated that digital transformation has become a lifestyle in all sectors. It motivates citizens to keep up with digital transformation, which is essential and quick and in all areas of life. The company currently has 3.5 million customers and a growth of 40% has taken place since 2014.

Moghazy added that Aman operates as one of the Group’s subsidiaries to provide all financial and funding services for individuals and different bodies. He said that the company’s investments are expanded through the Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) to serve 9 million farmers in Egypt, to bridge the gap between sellers and buyers in this sector and make payments easier.

He pointed out that the company targets pumping funding for installment services this year worth EGP 1.2bn, an increase of EGP 700m compared to last year. It is available in 220 branches in 23 governorates.

Waleed Hassouna, CEO of the non-banking financial sector at Hermes “ValU”, said that the company allows 420,000 clients to obtain funding, however, 70% of transactions happen in cash dealing.

“In ValU, we have been focusing on providing services to young people. We started providing funding to this segment. Furthermore, the company has recently provided ‘ValU Maak’ services, which allows young people to get loans for their tuition or any other needs,” he added.

Hasouna said that ValU seeks to provide non-banking financial services by providing installments without interests on electrical appliances, study expenses, and medical. 70,000 customers are using the ValU platform every month. The company targets reaching 250,000 customers by the end of 2022.

ValU also launched an online shopping platform “Shop It” which allows customers to buy products from a group of contracted shops and pay in installments for up to 60 months.

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