A source in the Central Bank of Egypt told “Sky News Arabia” that the decision primarily targets the category of owners of small workshops and shops, which is the category that does not deal from near or far with BanksHe added that this step aims to attract workers in the informal sector to deal with the banking sector, in light of the state’s tendency towards financial inclusion and reducing the circulation of cash.
According to the Egyptian Statistics Authority, informal economic establishments represent about 53% of the total number of economic establishments in all governorates of Egypt.
Workers and professionals
Through its recent decision, the Central Bank seeks to address all the challenges that faced the category of workers and professionals during the opening of accounts by making it possible to use realistic and simple methods that are applicable, such as ensuring the correctness of their data through those dealing with them or through Social media pages, If available, and other available methods.
The decision includes micro-enterprises, craftsmen and liberal professions, as the Central Authority directed to open accounts for this category using the identity document of the owner of the establishment, or some partners under the name of an economic activity, in the event that there is no fixed location or official documents, if they wish to open Accounts in the name of the activity or workshops owned by them.
The central bank has also directed the banking sector, taking into account that the banking products provided to these groups are commensurate with the limits of their eligibility and the size of the risks associated with them.
Mahmoud Mughrabi – the owner of a small food store – followed the central bank’s decision and commented to “Sky News Arabia” saying that he does not deal with banks, does not have a bank account and almost does not deal with banks except in the narrowest limits..
The shop owner added: “Most of my commercial dealings are done in cash without bank dealing, and I do not prefer dealing with banks because of the bureaucratic procedures required to open an account, but if the matter were facilitated and account opening fees canceled, I would have an account, especially since some government agencies have begun to refuse cash.” In some of its dealings. “
According to the Central Bank statement, the decision to facilitate the opening of bank accounts is an “unprecedented step” to solve the problems facing citizens, especially the simple ones, when dealing with banks..
According to the bank’s directives, in the event that the data in the identity document, such as the position or address, differ from the data provided by the citizen in the account opening form, it is sufficient to submit a “card” or a license to practice a profession or a tax card or a document from the General Insurance Authority or the Labor Office to prove the job You can also submit a water, electricity or gas bill, or a rental contract to prove the address.
In the case of micro-enterprises, accounts are opened if the facility does not have a commercial register or a license to engage in activity, and a property contract can be sufficient, even if it is a preliminary contract or a lease.
According to statistics The World Bank Then 33% of The Egyptians Those over the age of 15 years own financial accounts in banks or mail, and about 44 million citizens can be added to the formal financial sector.
General orientation of the state
Dr. Hisham Ibrahim, a banking expert and professor of finance and investment at Cairo University, said that the Central Bank’s decision comes within a general direction for the state that is currently being implemented. He added to Sky News Arabia that the decision has benefits from more than one perspective, the most important of which is related to dealing with the informal economy..
Ibrahim emphasized that the group targeted by the Central Bank falls mostly within the category of the informal sector, and therefore it does not benefit from all the services provided by the banking sector, whether it comes to lending or other banking products.
The banking expert considered that the timing of launching this step is important, amid the implementation of the plan to impose restrictions on cash handling, saying: The matter is not limited to the financial and economic levels only, but there are health and social dimensions by allowing the ordinary citizen to enter the official system..
The Central Bank of Egypt’s recent move is not the first of its kind on its part in this regard, as it announced last January that people of the age groups ranging from 16 to 21 years old would be allowed to open bank accounts in banks without the need for the approval of the guardian, a decision that does not contradict the law It aims to include a new class of citizens in the banking system.