Cairo, Egypt, February 5, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing in Fawry, Egypt’s leading
electronic payment provider, in an effort to extend crucial financial services
and encourage economic development across the country.
The $6 million investment will help Fawry, a local company, extend its
network of payment terminals across Egypt, a country heavily reliant on
cumbersome cash transactions. That is expected to help consumers pay bills
and make it easier for businesses to receive payments, stoking commerce
and economic growth.
“There are a lot of inefficiencies associated with cash, which is used
in about 99 percent of all household transactions in Egypt,” said Ashraf
Sabry, Fawry CEO. “Electronic payments make it easier to do business and,
in a country with a large population and very low banking penetration,
they are also a key driver of financial inclusion.”
The investment is also designed to help restore investor confidence in
Egypt and create jobs in its burgeoning high-tech sector.
“Egypt’s economy has struggled during the last two years,” said Mouayed
Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Companies
like Fawry can help the economy by creating jobs and demonstrating to investors
that there is a long-term potential in the country.”
Fawry offers Egyptians a convenient one-stop destination where they can
make regular payments to telecoms companies, utilities, charities, financial
services firms, and tour operators. More than 10 million people use Fawry
to make payments to 43 service providers. The company has more than 20,000
payment locations, including retail stores, post offices, and the ATMs
of 10 commercial banks. With IFC’s support, Fawry is planning to increase
its number of payment locations to 35,000 by 2016.
The investment is part of IFC’s efforts to catalyze foreign investment
in Egypt, support the private sector, and drive job creation. In the 2012
fiscal year, IFC committed $506 million to seven local projects, a figure
that includes $125 million mobilized from other investors. IFC has over
$1 billion invested in the country.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Fawry is the easiest and safest choice for making payments in Egypt today.
Launched in December 2009 with the approval of the Central Bank of Egypt,
Fawry enables Egyptians to conveniently receive all their bills and pay
them securely through more than 20,000 Fawry payment points. The Fawry
payment service is available through existing banking channels such as
bank branches, ATM machines, and internet banking, as well as at clearly-marked
retail outlets and post offices across Egypt.