E-governance to help Egyptian subsidy recipients

Cairo, February 6, 2016: E-governance is set to make a huge difference to the lives of people who need subsidies in Egypt as the government has signed an MoU with Visa.

The move, the government hopes, will benefit 22 million Egyptian families a secure, convenient and transparent means to gain access to them.

This MOU was signed by Dr. Khaled Hanafy, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, H.E. Dr. Ashraf Al Arabi, Minister of Planning, Monitoring, and Administrative Reform, and Stephen Kehoe, senior vice president for Financial Inclusion, Visa Inc., at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Administrative Development.

With the signing of the MoU, Egypt has launched an ambitious period of work designed to provide Egypt with one of the most modern subsidy payments systems in the world.

Dr. Khaled Hanafy said, “The MOU is an additional step towards the empowerment of Egyptian citizens and signifies that the government is keen to enhance the quality of services offered to them. Visa, the most experienced company in the field, is financing the study that aims at transforming the current subsidy scheme and providing Egyptians with a payment tool that would provide more services and benefits. This will result in greater financial inclusion which requires cooperation amongst all stakeholders.”

Stephen Kehoe, senior vice president, Visa Inc called the signing of the MoU a shared vision while Ashraf Al Arabi, Minister of Planning, Monitoring, and Administrative Reform, pitched in stating that “We consider the study as a milestone in our greater plans for the development of Egypt by 2030. It reflects the government’s resolve to address the challenges and improve the lives of Egyptians by collaborating with companies like Visa. It is a testament that we are seeking international standards when it comes to the services offered to our citizens.”

The Egyptian government will first work with Visa to study current subsidy program to help in bringing an informed action plan which will move the disbursement process to electronic payments.

This study will also look into increasing electronic payment acceptance at subsidy-accepting merchants, especially bakeries, and capitalize on the widespread usage of mobile phones in the country.

Additionally, Visa will introduce payment innovations and share global best practices in risk management and anti-fraud applications.

The government is hoping that the use of electronic payments will bring greater payment security and convenience to Egyptian families, while lowering costs and bringing increased transparency to the government subsidy program.