Cairo on 24 June 2020
In light of the country's strategy and initiatives to establish a digital society and boost financial inclusion mechanisms by relying on digital payments, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has taken a set of measures as a preliminary phase to limit the usage of traditional mobile phone charging methods such as scratch cards and encourage the use of other e-charging methods. These measures, that were taken in coordination with mobile operators, are the first in a list of the executive steps to be taken towards mainstreaming the mobile phone charging by using e-payment methods as an alternative to the traditional methods.
By virtue of these measures, the mobile operators are obligated to stop printing and issuing plastic scratch recharging cards of 50 LE fifty pounds and more, and continue using the recharging cards of the categories currently in the market, available to merchants and distributors or purchased by users, until the expiry of the validity period printed on each recharge card. In addition, the recharge cards of other categories will still be used as well as the electronic recharging methods.
Moreover, in its effort to encourage users of mobile services to use various electronic payment methods such as e-wallets, smart phone applications or the websites of service providers or various e-payment sites and applications, the NTRA has approved the offers provided by the mobile operators and service providers to provide users with 50 times the charged balance as free minutes and units when charging their balance using electronic payment methods.
For his part, NTRA’s Executive President, Eng. Hossam El-Gamal stated that these measures were taken in coordination with mobile operators, within the framework of the NTRA’s keenness to boost the use of electronic transactions in order to facilitate the citizens’ obtainment of telecommunication services. This comes in line with the country’s efforts to establish the culture of financial inclusion and encourage citizens to use e-payment methods. He pointed out that the NTRA had launched an initiative in this regard last March by agreeing with the mobile operators last March to provide users with 30 times the charged balance as free minutes or units when charging their balance using electronic payment methods.