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OPay puts aside $60 million to establish a digital bank in Egypt

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OPay has announced its intention to apply for a license to establish a digital bank in Egypt with a capital of $60 million, according to the rules for licensing and registration of digital banks, and control and supervision recently issued by the Central Bank of Egypt.

Opay’s digital bank will provide lending, savings and card services via the Internet without the need for customers to go to branches, in addition to OPay services to accept payments Such as points of sale, digital payment gateway, and electronic wallets.

According to Mahmoud Khedr, Director of Business Development & Partnership at OPay: ”We are excited to obtain a license to establish a digital bank in Egypt, and to work hand in hand with the Central Bank of Egypt and all concerned authorities to start this step, which represents a new beginning to keep pace with global developments in the field of financial technology”.

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Launching a digital bank is in line with OPay’s commitment to its role in developing the Egyptian digital economy, supporting the Egyptian state’s plans towards digital transformation, strengthening the principles of financial inclusion, and building a cashless society along with its digital transformation experience in the Middle East and North Africa, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Last year, OPay was granted  initial approval by Central Bank of Egypt  to issue prepaid cards through its OPay app. The firm also announced the opening of its first “OPay” store in Egypt in the Downtown area in the 5th Settlement, to offer all the company’s services and products for individuals and corporates. In its first two years of existence in Egypt, OPay distributed tens of thousands of Points – of – Sale (POS), and increasing its vendors and retailers, becoming the fastest growing company in the fintech and e-payments market.

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Opay says it has achieved great successes last year, as the value of its sales in the region amounted to more than 50 billion dollars, while the number of users of the “OPay” application in all countries reached about 30 million users, and we aspire to exceed these numbers in the current year and achieve unprecedented record rates.

Four years ago, OPay raised $50m to bolster its mobile payments services in Nigeria and expand into new markets across Africa as internet penetration grows across the continent. Opay, operated by mobile browser Opera had signed up more than 120 million users in Africa and more than 350 million worldwide to its Opera products, including browsers, the standalone news app and fintech offerings. Opera has always had a dream that Opay, through launch of new products and partnerships will grow to become Africa’s leading everything app.

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Two years ago, OPay raised $400 million in new funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, valuing it at $2 billion to make its dream closer to a reality. Although the company has entered North Africa and now strongly in Egypt, it has been unsuccessful in its attempts to enter South Africa and Kenya either due to South Africa’s advanced financial inclusion and credit access and Kenya’s M-PESA popularity, or its own internal strategy to focus on other markets.

“We thank the leaders of the Central Bank for the initiatives it is launching to create a supportive climate for the financial technology industry, and for the unlimited support for the financial technology sector and the directives of its leaders towards advancing the digital economy and the great role it plays in developing and developing this sector.” Khedr added.

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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakobahttp://techmoran.com
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs  TechMoran.com, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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