MasterCard, National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and network operator Etisalat have teamed up to launch a mobile payment wallet in Egypt.

The service, known as Flous – which means money in Arabic -, will use the Etisalat mobile network.

In the first phase of the programme, Etisalat subscribers can transfer money to other users, load money onto their mobile phones and make withdrawals from over 100 of Etisalat’s branches and 305 of NBE’s across Egypt.

Subscribers will have the option to pay bills, top up their mobile prepaid lines and pay for goods and services at participating merchants in the second phase of the programme.

Vice chairman of NBE Sherif Elwy said: "As the largest commercial bank in Egypt, NBE has been working with our partners for many years to ensure that Egyptians have access to the latest and most advanced payment methods. We are now reaching the threshold that will change the way consumers go about their everyday banking needs."

Michael Miebach, president of the Middle East and Africa at MasterCard, added: "With 65% of the population lacking access to formal banking, the mobile phone is rapidly becoming the method of choice for making payments and managing money".

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