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 Egyptian Central Bank Approves Launch of Country’s First Digital Bank

IMAGE CREDIT: Misr Digital Innovation

Egyptian Central Bank Approves Launch of Country’s First Digital Bank

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on Thursday granted preliminary approval to Misr Digital Innovation (MDI) to launch the country’s first digital bank named “onebank” in Egypt.

This signifies the completion of the initial phase, involving due diligence of the infrastructure, banking systems, and cybersecurity protocols to ensure their capacity and capabilities to provide stable and secure services to the customers.

onebank plans to launch in the last quarter of 2024 after completing the second phase of the due diligence and obtaining the operating license.

MDI is one of the subsidiaries of Banque Misr, with Banque Misr being its largest shareholder. The company was founded in 2020 to establish the first digital bank in accordance with the directives and regulations of the CBE. onebank aims to promote financial inclusion by offering banking services and products smoothly through its digital channels.

onebank aims to offer a diverse range of banking solutions that contribute to the development of financial services in Egypt. It offers tailored products aligned with lifestyle and pledging unparalleled value to the customers through identifying target demographics and target products to be offered through the digital bank, alongside IT and cybersecurity strategies.

The prevalence of digital banks in Egypt has become an imperative market demand and through onebank, all services and transactions will be online to cater to the evolving needs of the Egyptian consumer.

Better Financial Services

onebank aims to provide such services that are in line with the state’s agenda for financial inclusion and digital transformation, representing a natural evolution in the financial services.

It may be recalled that the CBE has issued the relevant regulations for licensing digital banks in July 2023 and the licensing prerequisites for digital banks include a minimum issued and paid-up capital of $41.7 million for conducting all banking activities except financing large corporations, with the possibility of financing such entities contingent upon increasing capital to $83.4 million.

Additionally, the principal shareholder must be a financial institution with prior experience in similar ventures, accounting for at least 30% of the total capital value.

MDI submitted the first application to obtain a licence to operate the country’s first digital bank in August last year, according to the rules set by the CBE for licensing, registering, monitoring and supervising digital banks, as part of the government’s efforts to support innovation and digital transformation and keep abreast of global developments in the financial technology industry.

Digital banks are unique in that they meet all customer needs without the need to go to branches. They will not have any branches, and is based on technology, and a digital account is opened from anywhere within minutes, and official documents are obtained by uploading them to the mobile phone, and it is ensured that they are not forged by linking with government agencies.

It explained that all this effort needed to prepare an integrated infrastructure, and the company was able during the last period to build it internally, confirming its readiness to start operating the services of the first digital bank in Egypt.

MDI mainly targets young people from the new digital bank, given that they are able to deal with various digital media, especially since digital banks provide more distinguished services to customers, as they provide data-based services.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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