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Visa Egypt Targets Financial Inclusion Via Payroll Cards

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In the U.S., the debate continues over the payroll card and whether it’s a tool to provide key resources for underbanked employees or one that unfairly burdens them with fees. Proponents of the tool argue that they offer underbanked workers access to the banking system and cash management support, but employers must educate their staff on how to use the tool.

In Egypt, Visa says that payroll card education works as a way to ensure proper use of payroll cards, and according to General Manager of Visa Egypt Tarek Mahfouz, its efforts in education for government employees are proof.

“This program is a big step toward activating financial inclusion, particularly as it will show government employees — payroll card holders — the multiple advantages of using these cards to purchase and pay for services easily,” the executive said in an interview with Daily News Egypt.

“They will save time and effort through purchasing with the payroll cards that are considered [a] safe and smooth payment tool that facilitates their daily lives,” he added.

Visa Egypt will reportedly look to develop its digital payment solutions across consumer types in the country, and part of that initiative will be to help government officials expand their use of electronic payments, Mahfouz explained.

At present, electronic government payments account for about 2 percent of the overall consumer spending market in the country, he said.

The company will also focus on expanding its payroll card services, an effort Mahfouz said will include collaborating with local financial institutions.

“Among the efforts to spread Visa electronic payments in Egypt is cooperating with banks that issue cards for government salaries,” he said. “This helps in the provision of appropriate payment instruments for government employees.”

This initiative will depend heavily on payroll card education. “Awareness is very important in this project,” the executive continued, “so as to provide employees with basic information about payroll cards.”

“It should be known that no fees will be applied for switching to payroll cards,” he said. “Employees should also be informed that cards are safe and easy to use.”

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