The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has doubled the daily and monthly transaction limits for financial inclusion accounts, prepaid cards, and mobile banking, according to a circular issued by the bank on Wednesday.
The initiative targets individuals, micro-enterprises, and the self-employed. For individuals, daily withdrawal, transfer, and purchase limits have been elevated from EGP 30,000 to EGP 60,000, while monthly limits increased from EGP 100,000 to EGP 200,000.
As for licensed micro-enterprises, daily transaction limits for financial inclusion accounts, prepaid cards, and mobile banking have been raised to EGP 80,000 from the previous limit. Additionally, monthly limits have been adjusted to EGP 400,000, up from the previous EGP 200,000.
Additionally, daily limits for unlicensed micro-enterprises, self-employed workers, and freelancers increased from EGP 30,000 to EGP 60,000, with the monthly limit raised to EGP 200.000, up from EGP 100,000.
The decision comes shortly after the release of the latest inflation figures for the country, showing a deceleration in both headline inflation and core inflation. This indicates that the CBE can refrain from implementing measures to restrict the local currency liquidity in the market due to the lower inflation.
Egypt’s annual headline inflation declined in October, reaching 38.5%, down from 40.3% in the month prior, according to the data published by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s annual core inflation rate decelerated to 38.1%, down from 39.7 % in September, as per CBE data.
In August 2022, the CBE instructed banks operating in the Egyptian market to eliminate maximum deposit limits for both individuals and companies at bank branches and ATMs. The daily withdrawal cap from bank branches for both individuals and companies was raised to EGP 150,000, up from EGP 50,000, while maintaining the maximum limit for ATM withdrawals at EGP 20,000. The CBE attributed this decision primarily to the diminishing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two months later, the CBE further removed the limits on cash withdrawals from ATMs on deposits and increased the maximum withdrawal limit for retailers and companies, whether through bank branches or ATMs.
In March 2020, the CBE set the daily limit for cash deposits and withdrawals from bank branches at EGP 10,000 for individuals and EGP 50,000 for enterprises, except withdrawals by entrepreneurs for worker disbursements, as a bid to contain the outbreak of the pandemic at the time.