Egypt launched its first automated teller machine (ATM) for real-time purchase of bullion in November in partnership between local gold manufacturer Master Gold, local e-payment technology firm Finway, and state-owned Banque Misr.
The action aligns with other initiatives undertaken by gold manufacturers in Egypt, aiming to encourage individuals to invest in gold as a haven amid ongoing economic challenges and soaring inflation. The new ATM is also in line with Egypt’s financial inclusion and digital transformation efforts, according to Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi.
On the significance of such an action at present, Fady Kamel, co-founder and CEO of Dahab Masr, and Member of the Board of Directors of The Gold and Jewelry Trade Cairo Division, told Business Monthly that this initiative reflects the current spike in gold demand. It provides an innovative solution to streamline gold purchases, particularly advantageous for smaller transactions.
“At Dahab Masr, we’re enthusiastic about this development, recognizing it as a step in making gold investments more accessible and in line with our vision to integrate advanced technology into the gold market. This advancement is not just a response to market demand but also a part of a broader trend towards enhancing financial inclusivity and transparency in investments,” Kamel added.
Egypt is currently suffering a challenging economic situation impacted by regional and global tensions. This situation feeds the individuals’ appetite for a haven for their savings amid a time of uncertainty.
Yet, could this innovative solution be popular among the general public in a market like Egypt?In this regard, Kamel emphasized that there is a noticeable increase in investment awareness among Egyptians, spanning various age groups and social backgrounds.
He stated, “This growing interest aligns with the vision of Dahab Masr, which aims to foster a more developed and technologically adept market. The public’s growing acceptance of technology in daily life suggests that innovative solutions like the gold bullion ATM will be warmly embraced, reflecting the national trend towards financial inclusion and the digital transformation of key sectors,” Kamel explained.
Is it safe?
As this gold bullion ATM is the first of its kind in the Egyptian market, questions arise regarding its security. Kamel addressed these concerns, stating, “Security is a paramount concern for the gold bullion ATM, requiring a blend of advanced technological and robust physical measures. By implementing state-of-the-art security features and situating these ATMs in well-secured locations, we ensure the safeguarding of assets and the integrity of transactions. This comprehensive security approach is crucial to protect both the physical gold and the confidential information of our clients.”
India was the first country globally to introduce an ATM for gold coin purchases in December 2022, enabling transactions using debit or credit cards to withdraw up to five kilograms of gold coins.
Regarding his forecasts for the gold market in Egypt in the short term and throughout 2024, Kamel highlighted the influence of factors such as local and global supply/demand, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, and geopolitical conflicts on the stable yet responsive local gold market. Kamel noted that despite the current stability, a significant gap exists between local and global prices, mainly due to Egypt’s closed market, where demand often exceeds supply.
“Looking into 2024, we expect the market to remain volatile, with 24-karat gold prices potentially surpassing EGP 3400 per gram before the end of the second quarter,” Kamel projected.