Egypt’s Apex Bank Renews Suspension of ATM and Banking Transaction Fees Until June 2021

The Central Bank of Egypt also decided that to ease the burden on pensioners, the bank will bear the cost of cash withdrawal fees for pension payment cards

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on Monday decided that it would renew until 2021, a number of procedures which it has put in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In September, Egypt’s apex bank had renewed the the measures, and they were expected to be lifted by the end of 2020.

Some of the CBE’s decision includes extending the suspension of fees on cash withdrawals from ATMs and the exemption clients from fees and commissions on banking transactions in Egyptian pounds until June 2021.

The Central Bank of Egypt also decided that to ease the burden on pensioners, the bank will bear the cost of cash withdrawal fees for pension payment cards, amounting to EGP 50 million. Added to this, the bank will continue to issue electronic portfolios and prepaid cards for individuals free-of-charge while cancelling fees and commissions on money transactions via mobile phone accounts.

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The CBE has also instructed Banks to exempt private-sector vendors from fees and commissions for any transaction which is conducted via non-contact payment instruments, and to allow them to use their accounts without the need to enter a password to encourage them to increase their reliance on non-contact payment instruments and to maintain social distancing, as well as to promote the ‘Tap and Go’ culture, particularly for transactions of not more than EGP 600.

Earlier this year, The Central Bank of Egypt launched an electronic repayment initiative which targeted the distribution of 100,000 points of sale, and granting 200,000 quick response codes free-of-charge.

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On 15 March, The Central Bank of Egypt announced a package of procedures which was aimed at easing banking operations during the coronavirus outbreak pandemic.

Some of these included raising the limits of daily transactions on credit cards as well as cancelling fees and commissions at points of sale and on withdrawals from ATMs for six months.

According to the CBE, these measures are part of a number of procedures which it has adopted to enable the bank cope with the pandemic and its likely consequences. These measures are in accordance with the state’s target to ensure the stability of the county’s banking sector and to support the nation’s economy.

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The procedures include keeping bank deposits locally in branches as reserves and encouraging clients to make use of credit and debit cards instead of cash.

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