Sunday, January 24, 2010

Egypt regulatory changes can stimulate mobile banking

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) was established last year and brings several regulatory bodies under one umbrella. In an article in the Daily News of Egypt (Read here), the establishment of this body was described as looking after "non-bank" financial products.

Launching mobile financial products as "non-banking" products have been tried before. An approach that I have seen is to offer a mobile wallet as a mechanism to manage investments (rather than savings). This would enable a mobile wallet to be seen as a "non-banking" product and thus could be regulated by an organisation similar to EFSA. A customer would be able to place cash into an investment product and to withdraw from such an investment again utilising a mobile phone. The usual challenges with such an approach is access to other clearing switches (most notably payment systems and ATM switches).

Fortunately the article ends with an afterthought: that the Egyptian Central Bank is finishing final work on a regulatory framework for money remittances and that this will be available soon. The relevance of this paragraph in the article is interesting.

No comments: