The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has issued electronic acceptance criteria for payments through QR Code, an easy and secure way to implement and accept payments electronically without the need for traditional POS devices.
According to CBE; these unified standards will apply to all banks licensed to accept payments electronically in Egypt.
The new technology will allow the trader and consumer to carry out electronic payment and collection for goods and services by scanning the QR code that the merchant displays visibly to their customers. The merchant data is, then shown and the customer enters the amount to be paid on mobile phone to pay directly to the merchant’s account. An immediate notice is then sent to both parties to complete the process.
According to Lobna Helal, CBE deputy governor, this step comes within the framework of CBE’s strategy to regulate the collection of financial transactions electronically without carrying and circulation of banknotes, as part of the plan to shift to a future without cash transactions.
“These standards are in line with the latest in the world and help to support and stimulate electronic payment services provided by all banks licensed by CBE for electronic payments,” she added.
Helal pointed out that these standards contribute to the provision and availability of financial services to all citizens at the lowest cost, including consumers and merchants, especially the segments that are not covered by the banking sector, including micro, small, and medium enterprises and projects.
She added that these criteria fall under the concept of financial inclusion as one of the state priorities within the strategy of sustainable development (Egypt 2030 vision), because of its direct impact on many aspects both on the level of increasing opportunities for sustainable growth and the enhancement of financial stabilisation, as well as its impact on the social level through job creation and improving living conditions.
Ayman Hussein, CBE sub governor for Payment Systems and Business Technology Sector, said that the adoption of the QR Code is the result of continued cooperation between CBE and all banks and companies operating in the Egyptian market for the development of electronic payment technology and its various applications
Hussein pointed out that the adoption of these standards is a pivotal step in the transition to digital economy in Egypt, and is characterised by low cost, and reduces the risk of trading cash to traders, companies, and projects of different sizes, next to maximising profitability and providing incentives for the end consumer, including speed, safety, and comfort.
He pointed out that banks that have been granted an electronic acceptance license in Egypt were granted three months from the date of issuance of the decision to comply with the new specifications.
He added that the adoption of these standards will contribute to a unified structure to accept payments electronically to all mobile payment systems, such mVisa and Masterpass, as well as reduce the risks associated with this new technology and ensure the safety of transactions.
The QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be read across mobile applications. It is a sophisticated technology that makes it easy to use the mobile phone at points of sale.