The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) succeeded in attracting more than 58,000 accounts, including savings, current, and mobile wallet accounts, as well as prepaid cards, during the Arab Financial Inclusion Initiative, which kicked off on 15 April 2018 and lasted until the end of that month.
According to Hesham Okasha, chairperson of the bank, the NBE was keen to partake in the initiative and expand its client base through offering many incentives, such as charging no fees for opening an account, 50% discount on bank statements, waiving minimum balance requirements, and exempting new clients from fees on mobile wallet and prepaid card accounts.
Yehia Aboul Fotouh, deputy chairperson of the bank, said that the NBE was present outside its branches near universities and clubs, and used mobile ATM vehicles to promote the initiative, with a focus on the Suez Canal area, Upper Egypt, and the Delta region.
He explained that the NBE opened 27,600 savings and current accounts in addition to 17,000 prepaid cards, such as for university students and remittance clients, in addition to 13,400 mobile wallet accounts.
“The banks have a significant role during the next phase to activate the objectives and decisions of the National Council for Payments, as only 15% of Egyptians deal with banks,” Okasha said.
Okasha added that banks are faced with a great challenge to attract the large segment of individuals who are not dealing with the banking system and to reduce the volume of money traded in the local market, which has been taken into account in the bank’s strategy in pursuit of financial inclusion.
According to Okasha, the NBE has developed a plan for the next phase that includes several axes, the most important of which is the diversity of electronic services and products for existing customers, such as internet banking.
He added that the plan also includes the automation of government salaries for all governmental and private sector employees, offering products and services specifically for certain segments of society, especially youth, expanding the provision of electronic commerce services, diversification of the issuance of products for SMEs, and contracting with service providers to attract new segments of customers outside the banking system.