The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will now allow individuals to open an account without the prerequisite of a minimum deposit and without a fee, according to an announcement made on Sunday, 21 May.
This comes in light of a larger set of initiatives that were launched on 27 April for Arab Day for Financial Inclusion.
These initiatives include different ‘Bedaya’ (beginning) accounts with the aim of tailoring banking services to individual needs and making them more accessible.
The Bedaya current account, which has a maximum balance of EGP 250,000 (USD 8,112.3) is targeted at freelancers, as they often face difficulties in opening accounts due to not being employed in the traditional sense. Meanwhile, the Bedaya savings account aims to bring Egyptian nationals who are first-time banking customers into the banking system.
Meeza, a prepaid card that can be requested by any national ID holder without the prerequisite of a bank account, is another initiative facilitated by the CBE.
In addition, through the CIB smart wallet a number of services are accessible including the payment of bills and the transfer of funds from one wallet to another, locally.
Egypt has been actively pushing for financial inclusion over the past few years with over 42.3 million Egyptians now being transactional account users and owners. There has also been an increase in the number of women holding transitional accounts with a recorded 18.3 million, representing a 210% growth from 2016.
As of 2022, the financial inclusion rate rose to 64.8 percent boasting a 147 percent growth between 2016 and 2022.