The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Issues its Report on the Indicators of the Usage of E-wallets of Mobile Phones
The NTRA's Measures and Initiatives That Aimed to Stimulate the Use of E-payment Methods in the Egyptian Telecom Market
Within the framework of its support to the State’s plan to attain financial inclusion, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has been keen to incessantly coordinate efforts with telecom operators to create a digital payment ecosystem and set regulatory frameworks for payment services by using e-wallets of mobile phones. This will eventually lead to the spread e-payment methods nationwide, and expedites the transition towards a cashless society.
Moreover, in light of the NTRA’s mandate to raise the users’ awareness about e-payment methods, the NTRA has issued a report on the indicators for the usage of e-wallets of mobile phones. The report highlights that there are 13.5 million e-wallets throughout the country. They carry out 4.8 million e-transactions per month. In these transactions, there are three most used services by subscribers; they are as follows:
- Depositing and withdrawing cash from the e-wallets of the mobile phones: this is done directly either through the outlets of mobile operators, or by using ATMs and currently amounts to 35% of the total number of transactions per month.
- Transfers: any transfer of funds from an e-wallet account to another e-wallet account of mobile phones, amounting to 33% of the total number of transactions per month.
- Charging mobile phone balance: this means charging the mobile phone balance with cash deducted from the balance of the e-wallet of the mobile phone; it currently amounts to a rate of 26% of the total number of transactions per month.
As for the geographical distribution of holders of the e-wallets of mobile phones nationwide, it should be noted that the users come from all governorates of the country, as Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Dakahlya and Sharqya came at the forefront of the governorates, at a rate of 50% of the e-wallet holders. In addition, the service is widely used by all age groups in the society with a relative increase of those of 26-50 years of age.
The distribution of the e-wallets of mobile phones among the operators is respectively as follows: Vodafone 62.7%, Orange 25%, Etisalat 12%, and WE 0.3%. Moreover, the distribution of the number of e-transactions is respectively as follows: Vodafone 86.5%, Orange 8.5%, Etisalat 4.5%, and WE 0.5%.
The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA)'s Measures and Initiatives that Aimed To Stimulate the Usage of E-payment Methods in the Egyptian Telecom Market
The NTRA has taken a set of measures to stimulate the usage of e-payment transactions in the telecom services. In addition, the NTRA has launched several initiatives and coordinated efforts with various government bodies to encourage and urge the use of digital means to carry out and conduct financial transactions electronically, as follows:
- Coordinated efforts with the mobile operators to provide citizens with 30 times the charged balance as free minutes and units (either through the mobile application of the operator or through the e-wallet of the mobile phone). This led to an increase in the number of customers using the electronic charging service by 30% after the announcement of that offer.
- Obligated the mobile operators to stop printing and issuing plastic scratch recharging cards of 50 pounds and more, to limit the usage of traditional mobile phone charging methods and encourage the use of other e-charging methods such as w-wallets, smart phone applications, operators’ websites, or various e-payment websites. Moreover, the NTRA agreed with the operators to provide the users with 50 times the charged balance as free minutes and units when charging their balance by using electronic payment methods.
- Enabled the registration of the e-wallets of mobile phone for free, and by using e-identification methods (the application of each operator or the code (*USSD#) for each company). This led to the increase in the number of e-wallets of mobile phones by 1.2 million new e-wallets in only two months, hence the total number of mobile e-wallets rose from 12.3 million e-wallets in March 2020 (registered throughout seven years) to 13.5 million e-wallets in May 2020.
- The maximum limits of transactions increased from 6 thousand Egyptian pounds per day to 30 thousand Egyptian pounds, and the balance rose from 10 thousand pounds to 50 thousand pounds, which led to an increase in the services provided to citizens through the e-wallets of mobile phones. This was reflected in an increase in the value of the average funds circulated by the users by 15%, amounting to 4336 Egyptian pounds.
- Coordinated efforts with the mobile operators to allow mobile phone customers to securely withdraw money and deposit funds in the mobile phone wallets by using ATM machines for free. This helps reduce the thronging and crowding of people inside the operators’ outlets in light of the precautionary measures taken since the onset of Coronavirus pandemic and helps increase the number of withdrawals and deposits from the ATMs by 48%.
- Included dealing with the e-wallets of mobile phones within the disbursement methods of the State’s initiatives to ease access of citizens to some services such as the provision of alimony to divorced women and the temporary workers’ allowances (first and second phases).
To review the report, please download the following link: