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Network invests $32m to fuel Egypt’s cashless ambition

Egypt Network Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Egyptian vendors count money at a livestock market at Giza. Cash accounted for 57% of payments made in the country in 2022
  • Plan for 100,000 point-of-sale machines
  • Focus on digitalising small merchants
  • Cash remains dominant in Egypt

Dubai’s Network International is investing EGP1 billion ($32 million) to accelerate Egypt’s transition from cash to digital payments. 

Network said it plans to enhance its payment technology and capabilities in Egypt. This includes investing significant amounts in procuring, deploying and maintaining about 100,000 point-of-sale machines. 

It will also invest in implementing and operating its payments technology platform Network One.

Network launched its direct-to-merchant services in Egypt at the start of the year, which has so far secured more than 700 merchants including Tradeline, Apple’s authorised resellers. 

“We are making digital payment acceptance economically feasible for many small merchants through low-cost payment acceptance solutions,” said Reda Helal, Network International group managing director of processing for Africa.

Egypt established the National Council for Payments in 2017 to help reduce the use of banknotes and support the use of electronic payments.

In May the country also introduced payment card tokenisation legislation to make digital payments more secure and convenient. 

Network International's office in DubaiNetwork International
Network International’s office in Dubai

In spite of this cash remained the dominant payment method in Egypt last year, with 57 percent of purchases, according to Statista. 

Cash made up 43 percent of payments last year across the Middle East and Africa, according to the FIS Global Payments Report 2023. This compared to a global figure of 16 percent ($7.7 trillion), which is forecast to drop below 10 percent by 2026.

Network International operates in more than 50 markets across the Middle East and Africa.

Revenue at the company for the first half of 2023 increased 19 percent to $239 million, supported by a 33 percent rise in consumer payments processed by merchant customers.

Group CEO Nandan Mer said that Network’s performance continues to be supported by the “acceleration of digital payments growth across key markets”. 

Profit for the period was $35 million, up 9 percent year-on-year.