Obtaining financing in Egypt is fairly established despite the amount of change and fluctuation that’s going on in the country in recent times, and in some cases it’s using the most modern electronic tools available to consumers. Here are some of the features available for locals as well as visiting expats.
The Local Perspective
For local Egyptians, management of personal finance and also access to a current account have an interesting emphasis on modern world technology versus traditional means. Employers in Egypt generally prefer electronic transfer to banks for paying employees rather than handing out paper pay checks. That, in turn, creates a large number of bank accounts and a system capable of keeping up with the demand. Customers who can show an income source are also being offered financial cards or credit cards on a regular basis as this is a new part of the country’s financial industry.
Egyptians are also far more adaptive to personal electronic means of payment versus in-hand tools. This is because crime tends to be a high risk, particularly in urban areas. Rather than take the risk of carrying cash or having too many credit cards, locals are far more interested in using electronic means of payment such as PayPal and other Internet e-commerce options. Along the same lines, loan funding is managed the same way, avoiding checks and cashier’s checks and instead just transferring funds to a borrower’s account upon approval.
The Foreigner’s Perspective
For expats, the first thing to understand about finance in Egypt is not to bring anything more than what is needed when relocating. Furniture, major belongings and costly items are just going to end up triggering an import tax on the value of the items coming into the country.
In terms of general banking, the major urban areas will have all the same conveniences of banking as you can expect to find at home. Major banking brands have a presence in Egypt. The national banks are also well established, such as the National Bank of Egypt and the Central Bank of Egypt. These institutions include all of the basic features of standard current accounts as well automatic teller machines and other common banking services.
In terms of loans, Egyptian banks do offer loans, and expats will likely have no great issue borrowing since they often come into the country with a confirmed source of income already. This is actually a huge point of leverage for local banks, and they don’t mind getting business from a borrower who represents a very good risk.
For those visiting, it’s a smart idea to work with an established international bank versus a local one. This is because, if instability arises in the country, assets placed in the bank can still be accessed in another country without issue. Banks such as HSBC are a good example of this type of safety net because they have branches all over the world.