Egypt 'poised for mobile banking growth'

Oct 01, 2010

Mobile banking has the potential to become a big feature of the Egyptian financial services market, one banking expert has indicated.

Speaking to Daily News Egypt, Lana Strydom of South African bank Absa said it has the potential to provide banking services to much of the country's low-income population. Egypt currently has around 55 million mobile phone users and Ms Strydom explained at the Lafferty Retail Banking conference that giving them the ability to access funds though the handsets has benefits for the whole country. "Through it, more money is going through the economy and at a higher velocity; the result is that the economy gets stimulated," she was quoted as saying.

The news source noted Egypt fits many of the criteria for mobile banking to become a success, such as having a high penetration rate of handsets, the availability of alternative payment methods such as credit cards and a significant unbanked population. However, Ms Strydom noted regulation is also key to its uptake, warning bodies are often "uneducated" on the use of electronic money and digital transactions.

Mobile banking is already popular across Africa, as, according to Daily Nation, 6,000 Kenyans are currently using Equity Bank's M-Kesho service.