MasterCard, Bank of Egypt Unveil Mobile Payments App (Sept. 26, 2013)
The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has partnered with MasterCard to launch a new mobile app that enables users to send money, pay bills and soon make purchases at selected merchants in Egypt and electronic retailers across the globe. Dubbed Phone Cash, the service was developed in conjunction with electronic bill payment provider Fawry and Egyptian Banks Co.
Phone Cash is not limited to any specific mobile network, making it the first mobile payments app of its kind to operate across all mobile providers in Egypt, according to the announcement. “This product opens doors for all consumers in Egypt to have access to financial services, regardless of whether or not they have a bank account,” said Sherif Elwy, vice chairman, NBE. Phone Cash accounts can be reloaded with cash at any of Fawry’s 20,000 locations in Egypt and via transfer from a linked bank account.
In June, MasterCard and NBE announced they would work together to create a mobile payments service with mobile network operator Etisalat, targeting Egypt’s 94 million mobile users. The country is considered by many industry observers to be a hotbed of mobile payments potential, given its high rate of mobile penetration and a relative dearth of traditional banking services, with 65 percent of Egyptians lacking access to formal banking.