Egypt's central bank extends suspension of bank fees
JOHANNESBURG - Egypt’s central bank is extending the suspension of fees on cash withdrawals from automated teller machines (ATMs) and clients’ exemption from fees and commissions on local currency transactions until June, to ease the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, Ahram Online reported.
According to the English-language news website, the Central Bank of Egypt renewed the measure in September and was expected to lift it at the end of this year.
The latest decision also applies to the cost of cash withdrawal fees for pension payment cards, to ease the burden on senior citizens.
In addition, the bank will continue to issue free-of-charge electronic portfolios and prepaid cards for individuals while cancelling fees and commissions on money transactions via mobile phone accounts.
It has instructed commercial banks to exempt private-sector vendors from fees for transactions conducted via non-contact payment instruments, and to allow them to use their accounts without the need to enter a password to encourage them to increase their reliance on non-contact payment instruments and to maintain physical distancing.
In March, the central bank announced a package of measures aimed at easing banking operations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
These included raising daily transaction limits on credit cards and cancelling fees and commissions at points of sale and on withdrawals from ATMs for six months.
The bank said these measures were in line with the government’s target of ensuring the stability of the Egyptian banking sector and supporting the economy as the country grapples with the health crisis.
In its latest update, the health ministry reported 133,900 cases of Covid-19. Of these, it said 11,436 people had recovered while 7,466 had lost their lives.
- African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa