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Egypt Country Report

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  • Published Date: February 2021

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Egypt, with expert commentary backed by historic and forecast data.

The high mobile penetration rate has led to an official push for acceptance and payments empowerment, with 2018 seeing the launch of a domestic debit scheme, Meeza. The rise in digital payments is expected to drive a BNPL surge in 2021. Since 2017, the number of mobile money accounts has doubled, and a digital bank is forthcoming from Banque Misr: more signs of historic shifts in consumer appetite. In addition, the pandemic has led to record growth for digital payments providers such as Fawry.

What you will learn from this Egypt payments report:

  • How the central bank is boosting the POS
  • Why the future is unusually bright for online
  • What Meeza has meant to the Egyptian market
  • Why prepaid is on the rise
  • The effects of high mobile penetration in Egypt


  • Egypt remains a cash-based economy with a large informal sector and low overall take-up of financial services.
  • Although just two in five people have a bank account, the banking sector is relatively competitive with a wide range of retail services available.
  • Large state-owned institutions compete with a range of international banks from Europe and, increasingly, the Gulf.
  • The government is pushing for financial inclusion and expansion of mobile and internet access, which should facilitate high growth rates in the payments market in the coming years.
  • Card use is low, owing to the large unbanked population, but has been growing impressively in terms of spend.
  • In response to Covid-19, the central bank organised the distribution of free point-of-sale (POS) terminals, increased contactless payments limits and lowered fees and charges.
  • As a result, the number of POS terminals in the country more than doubled in 2020. Historically, poor acceptance outside tourist centres has limited use of cards.
  • Egypt's credit cards market is small, with less than six cards per 100 adults. Just two issuers account for almost half of credit cards in circulation.
  • Mobile banking remains at a nascent stage with services being used by only three percent of the adult population in 2020.
  • Egypt's B2C e-commerce market is expected to reach $3 billion by 2021, following a surge in volumes during the past half-decade.

Egypt Payments Research | Report Contents

Key Topics
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information

Appendices: Egypt Card Payments Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e-commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market data

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

  • Mobile money metrics

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Egypt profit pool

Appendix VI: Card networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquirers and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring data

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Egypt Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy: The Arab Republic of Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East and has the third-highest population in Africa. The country's population stood at 99.8 million at the end of 2019, an increase from 88 million in 2014.

Payments Environment:
Egypt remains a cash-heavy society: over 90% of the value of payments are made using cash. The informal economy takes up to 60% of the entire economy.

Cards market:
Although there is high cash usage, there has been a notable growth in the use of payment cards, particularly among those in the 25 to 35 age bracket. The total number of debit and credit cards in use in Egypt has more than doubled since 2010.

Mobile Payments:
The number of mobile money users in Egypt stood at 14.9 million in 2019, an increase of over 117 percent on the total in 2016. This is supported by over 350,000 mobile money agents.

Profit Pool:
Egypt's credit cards market is expected to make a profit of approximately $57 million during 2020, up from $28 million in 2019.

Card Networks:
Visa and Mastercard are the dominant networks in the Egyptian credit cards market with a combined market share of 98% in 2019. Banks issue Visa and Mastercard branded debit cards in Egypt. In addition, banks also issue debit cards under the local 123 Network scheme and the new Meeza scheme.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers:
A total of 38 banks were in operation in Egypt at the end of 2019. The top five banks – in terms of assets – held 67 percent of total banking assets as of June 2020.

Acquiring and Processing:
Card acceptance infrastructure in Egypt is set to change significantly in the medium to long term. At the end of 2019 there were around 88,380 POS terminals installed in the country, and it is estimated that this will increase to almost 200,000 units.

Online Acquiring:
Egypt remains an incredibly appealing market for new e-commerce companies due to the low cost of doing business in the country and also because of the growing preference for online shopping – the B2C e-commerce size has been increasing by over 40% annually since 2014.

Regulatory and Markets Information:
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) allows banks operating in the Egyptian market to own unlimited shares in payment service providers and payment systems operators ... part of the country's push towards cashless payments.

Egypt Payments Report | Entities Referenced

123 Network
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt
Ahli United Bank
Al Araby
Al Baraka Bank Egypt
American Express
Arab African International Bank
Arab Bank
Arab Investment Bank
Bank Audi Egypt
Banque du Caire
Banque Misr
Barclays Egypt
Cairo Far East Bank
Central Bank of Egypt
Chase Manhattan Bank
Chase National Bank of Egypt
Citibank Egypt
Cleartrip Airlines
Commercial International Bank
Crédit Agricole
Egypt Post
Egyptian Banking Company for Advanced Technology
Egyptian Banks Company
Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority
Egyptian Islamic Finance Association
Egyptian Postal Authority
Egyptian Shooting Club
Etisalat Egypt
Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt
Helwan University
Hong Kong Egyptian Bank
HSBC Egypt
International Monetary Fund
International Telecommunication Union
Liverpool Football Club
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
National Bank for Development
National Bank of Egypt
National Council for Payments
National Société Générale Bank
Qatar National Bank Al Ahli
QNB Al Ahli
Ripplewood Holdings
Suez Canal Bank
United Bank of Egypt
World Bank


Verisk financial reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in Africa. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and African finance experts.

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