Egypt pushes financial inclusion the right way.

Jojo Puthuparampil is a business news writer for Inc. Arabia.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE)’s board has approved a revised version of regulations for mobile payment services.

The move comes soon after Egyptian Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Combating Unit (EMLCU) issued customer due diligence procedures for mobile payments.

The regulations are aimed at enhancing the use of mobile payment services, the bank said. The new rules will also help incorporate more individuals and micro enterprises under the financial services umbrella.

They are also part of the efforts to develop sustainable financial services, with the aim of shifting towards a less-cash economy, said CBE deputy governor Lobna Helal.

This mechanism will allow all socioeconomic strata to tap into the financial services market, including low-income individuals, youth and residents of remote locations, she said.

What’s new?

Under the revised regulations, banks will be able to employ agents in numerous services, mainly in establishing and verifying customer identity.

Besides, micro enterprises, organizations, and merchants will be able to pay or collect funds through their mobile accounts, Helal said.

The new regulations also allow customers to receive family remittances into their mobile accounts.

In addition, money transferred can be disbursed by beneficiaries through agents that are spread across the country, according to Helal.

The new regulations stipulated the activation of interoperability among the different payment schemes.

This means that a customer of a particular mobile payment scheme will now be able to make a payment to a customer associated with any other mobile payment scheme.

Mobile payment services were launched three years ago in Egypt.

As of October 2016, the volume of subscribers for mobile payment accounts reached around 6.2 million, according to Ayman Hussein, assistant sub-governor for the payment systems and business technology department.

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