Mobile Payments -

Egyptian mobile payments gateway unveiled

As part of the world’s ‘first ever interoperable’ Arabic mobile money programme, MasterCard, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and telecoms provider Etisalat have launched a mobile payment wallet in Egypt.

The programme forms part of an early implementation of a mobile payment offering that MasterCard and the Egyptian Banks Company (EBC) have introduced to Egypt’s 94 million mobile users market.

Dubbed “Flous”, which means money in Arabic, the mobile payment wallet technology is intended to use the Etisalat network and be deployed on any handset.

“Our objective, together with the Central Bank and the Government, is to bring financial services to the fingertips of each and every Egyptian. This collaborative initiative will allow us to achieve that,” comments Mohamed Kamel Bayoumi, managing director, EBC.

Phase one of the programme is said to allow subscribers to transfer money to anyone participating in the service via their mobile phones. These subscribers can then also load cash on their phones or withdraw cash from over 100 Etisalat branches and 305 of NBE’s branches across Egypt.

Meanwhile, the second phase of the programme is planned to allow subscribers to pay their bills via their mobile phones, top up their mobile prepaid lines and pay for goods and services at several merchants’ locations in Egypt, in addition to using it for e-commerce payments globally.

“Mobile phones can be used for far more than calls and messages. In a world where smartphones and mobile browsing have become commonplace, it is only natural that mobile devices be used to conduct everyday transactions, especially with their current levels of penetration in the Egyptian market,” conludes Saeed Al Hamli, CEO, Etisalat Egypt.

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