Egypt eyes surge in fintech expense following new guidelines

  • Govt passes laws to govern fintech
  • MNT faucets micro-borrower foundation for electronic wallet business
  • MoneyFellows to connect cooperative lending teams
  • E-payment service provider Fawry concludes money boost

CAIRO, June 22 (Reuters) – New laws and regulatory adjustments in Egypt are established to unleash a surge in new fintech investments and alter the way the country’s mainly unbanked citizens do small business, sector players say.

Fintech innovation in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous state, has trailed other rising market place powerhouses these types of as China, India, Kenya and Indonesia, a condition the field hopes the new legal surroundings will improve.

1 innovator is MNT NV, a microfinance lending and payments corporation with additional than a million lively buyers and a 21.7% industry share. It has just concluded a share swap to get in excess of fintech enterprise Halan Inc, Mounir Nakhla, a cofounder of both equally companies, advised Reuters. The deal experienced not beforehand been described.

MNT-Halan is Egypt’s initially private non-bank business to be licensed by the central financial institution to operate a digital wallet, a mobile phone software that enables people, suppliers, loan providers and borrowers to transfer income, pay out payments, get merchandise on instalment, safe loans and make other transactions.

MNT is marrying its substantial foundation of unbanked people with digital technological innovation, hoping to area itself at the forefront of a electronic transformation.

“What we are going to do will be groundbreaking, I think. We have the achieve, the technologies and the capacity to scale,” stated Nakhla, who produced the to start with of a series of start-ups in 2010. MNT has attracted $50 million from venture funds cash and other buyers, and hopes to raise more funds shortly.

MNT will also leverage much more than a hundred warehouses and distribution details it has close to Egypt and a fleet of autos to deliver solutions purchased on the web the same day.

Personal traders have been reluctant to put money in Egypt in recent yrs thanks to an growth of state ownership in the overall economy, and it stays to be observed how eager fintech traders will be.

NEW Laws

But adjustments in the authorized and regulatory framework could motivate them.

In September, the authorities handed a new regulation governing the central lender with provisions letting it to give out banking licences to fintech companies, stated Mohamed Essam, a fintech professional at the legislation office environment of Matouk, Bassiouny and Hennawy.

A next regulation for the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and governing non-banking fintech this sort of as nano-finance, consumer tech and coverage tech is in parliament and owing to be finalised in the coming months.

“Suddenly in two years we have the new central lender legislation, laws for wallets,” and shortly the FRA legislation, Essam reported.

“We think that within just the upcoming number of months or couple of a long time we will see a major bang in fintech.”


Ahmed Alfi, chairman of enterprise funds organization Sawari Ventures, suggests MNT could be Egypt’s 2nd fintech “unicorn”, or company with a marketplace value exceeding $1 billion, following e-payments large Fawry (FWRY.CA), now value about $2 billion.

“There will be various unicorns in the fintech house in Egypt,” stated Alfi. Sawari Ventures runs a 1 billion Egyptian pound ($64 million) fund that invests in higher-development organizations.

Sawari has not invested in MNT-Halan, but has taken a share in yet another get started-up, MoneyFellows.

MoneyFellows has been digitising a common process the place friends and acquaintances frequently pay into a fund and distribute the proceeds in turns to support users make large purchases, a process recognized in Egyptian Arabic as a “gamiya”.

Established in Egypt in 2018, MoneyFellows now has 1.5 million end users and has raised capital of $11 million.

It tentatively options to elevate $20 million or much more from enterprise cash cash this year to expand into new items and nations around the world.

“We’re searching at other markets, these kinds of as Africa,” stated founder and CEO Ahmed Wadi. “We are also preparing increase-ons”, this kind of as supplying purchase now, pay later alternatives with specified merchants.


Ashraf Sabry, chairman of Fawry, claimed a new e-money regulation, passed a calendar year in the past, that necessitates more substantial companies to take and disburse revenue electronically, was also a big action.

The regulation will appear into drive in September, he mentioned.

Egypt, with a inhabitants of 102 million and a workforce of about 28 million, has all over 19 million debit playing cards, a comparable amount of pay as you go cards and about four million credit history playing cards issued, Sabry claimed. They are often employed only for withdrawing money, but with 25-30 million people proudly owning smartphones the place is primed for digital banking to just take off, he included.

Fawry in excess of the very last two months lifted 400 million Egyptian pounds in a money boost.

($1 = 15.6500 Egyptian pounds)

Reporting by Patrick Werr
Enhancing by Mark Potter

Our Specifications: The Thomson Reuters Belief Concepts.