As all nations around the world are forced to adapt to a new normal, Egypt now has the power to leverage today’s online technologies to strengthen its recovery and completely revolutionize the lives of its citizens, in the wake of incredibly disruptive events.

The strength of the Egyptian digital economy and e-commerce sector has already proven to be a vital lifeline for many businesses throughout the pandemic, helping to overcome the various challenges that have arisen, including lower retail foot traffic and the temporary closing of shops.

However, this shift to digital has been accelerated massively due to current circumstances and more businesses than ever are now taking payments online and adapting their services to be more digital-friendly, from food outlets to financial service providers. Yet, as the nation continues to deal with the very real challenges of COVID-19, many businesses have still not moved online.

As such, the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE), in collaboration with Amazon Payment Services and other partners, have launched an initiative to get more SMEs online in order to help them secure online revenue, offer services that are more attuned to customer preferences and ultimately contribute to a more robust jobs market and digital economy

We explore the ins and outs of this important campaign within and context of the Middle Eastern e-commerce market and discuss the goals it hopes to achieve.


What Does the Initiative Involve?

The Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) initiative involves the cancellation of all fees that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) bear from the private sector, in order to activate electronic collection services via the Internet (E-Commerce).

As a concerted push to get more businesses online during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as boost the economy, this campaign will run through until the end of June 2021 and is open to any qualifying business willing to make the change.

The CBE is keen to increase the number of companies activating electronic collection services through websites or mobile phone applications. It recognizes that as more people than ever are making transactions over the internet, it’s increasingly important for businesses to have the ability to adapt to this kind of changing consumer demand.

The initiative, as part of a diverse package of programs launched by the Central Bank during the Corona pandemic, also hopes to spread awareness about the benefits of prioritizing e-commerce and moving towards a more digital-first economy that is less dependent on banknotes.


How Will the Initiative Help Merchants?

Businesses of all kinds can benefit from the campaign by shifting to online payment transactions with zero account fees until the end of June. This means waiving all administrative and account fees and additional support in being able to accept online payments for your business.

The CBE’s initiative to accelerate and support e-commerce in Egypt, as well as increase online sales for Egyptian business, should open up new avenues for customer targeting across online sales channels, offering a wider variety of payment methods.


Ongoing Support from Amazon Payment Services

As you might know already, supporting businesses in the Middle East is at the heart of what we do at Amazon Payment Services. From our close collaboration with our merchant partners to our creative StartUpStayUp campaign to drive greater traffic to online businesses in the region, we’re always looking for ways we can strengthen the online sales and payment facilities of businesses throughout Egypt, KSA, the UAE and other nations in the region.

It is for this reason that we’re proud to support the CBE initiative and are engaged in actively building awareness of it through our network. Our hope is that we can drive great publicity and understanding of the benefits of going online.

As always, we’re dedicated to shaping the online ecosystem for the better and supporting all our partners in driving more conversions, optimizing the performance of their online payments systems, and generally helping them manage their online payment gateways so they're fast, efficient and user friendly.

By working together with partners like CBE, we want to boost e-commerce in Egypt and help all businesses secure their future, regardless of disruptions to the world of retail.


Want to Learn More?

We’re committed to supporting Egyptian and Middle Eastern businesses with resources, tools, and support so that they can grow and prosper. As such, we’ve pulled together a wealth of data and insights about key markets to inform the important strategic decisions that businesses make.

If you can't find what you’re looking for on our blog and want some deeper insights, take a look at our annual Insights report which is cram-packed with useful data, facts and breakdowns about the Egyptian economy.