E-payment regulations in Egypt

Egypt has recently been focusing on the importance of applying electronic payment methods and regulations on non-cash payments; and as a result, Egypt has issued Law no. 18/2019 in April, 2019 which obliges all state authorities, institutions and establishments, which provide services to the public, to offer electronic payment methods.

In the same context, the Central Bank of Egypt (“CBE”) has issued a framework for its fintech regulatory sandbox for its innovative financial technology lab (“IFTL”) which aims to encourage new fintech solutions in the Egyptian financial and banking sectors. The IFTL accepts applications from all companies providing financial technology services; however, priority is given to companies providing such services in collaboration with financial institutions.

The CBE regulations provide that banks which deal with Payment Service Providers (“PSP”) must comply with the CBE regulations; a bank may not contract with a PSP without obtaining the CBE’s approval.

Moreover, only financial institutions with a physical presence in Egypt will be subject to CBE’s supervision; accordingly, PSPs who target the Egyptian market from abroad are not subject to the CBE’s regulations, keeping in mind that the local banks and/or financial institutions that the PSP contracts with, will remain subject to CBE’s regulations.

According to the CBE’s regulations, banks shall supervise the PSP’s activities, including the PSP’s scope of services as well as insuring that PSPs do not engage in any prohibited activities under Egyptian Laws such as gambling, virtual currencies, lottery games, etc.

For payment facilitators who receive payments into their accounts before transferring such amounts to merchants, they must comply with the below regulations:

  • Have a physical presence in Egypt and an established company with a valid Commercial Register;
  • Have a physical address in Egypt;
  • Have a website;

On a final note, all payments made in Egypt shall be made local currency, Egyptian Pound.

To conclude, Egypt is becoming one of the best jurisdictions in the region for relevant startups to operate in due to the focus on the importance on fintech and non-cash payment solutions.

Source: http://eldib.com/

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