The Central Bank of Egypt has extended the suspension of withdrawal fees from ATMs and waivers on fees and commissions for banking transactions in the Egyptian pound. The measures in response to COVID-19 will now extend to June 30, 2021, instead of December 31, 2020.
The decision made by the Central Bank of Egypt’s Board of directors will allow the country to preserve the benefits of its economic reforms while maintaining the banking sector’s stability.
Besides the exemptions on banking expenses and commissions on transfers in the local currency, the banking regulator will also extend free issuance of e-wallets and their corresponding virtual card numbers. Egypt also canceled mobile money transaction fees.
Further, the central bank will bear the cost of withdrawal fees for pension payment cards, estimated at EGP 50 million ($3.1 million), to ease pensioners’ financial burden.
Commercial banks will exempt private sector vendors of transaction fees on non-contact payment tools as part of the measures. The banks will also allow vendors to use their accounts without passwords to discourage physical contact.
The Central Bank of Egypt instituted measures to cut costs and ease banking operations on the pandemic’s onset in March 2020, with extensions in June and September.