Egyptian payments provider Fawry plans to launch a digital bank this year. This comes weeks after the company announced its plan to obtain a digital bank license from the Central Bank of Egypt.

Per local media reports, Egyptian payments provider Fawry, will be turning its online payment portal—myFawry—into a digital bank to provide financial services including payments, consumer lending, savings, and investments, by the end of 2023.

However, the company’s head of investor relations, Hassan Abdelgelil clarified that the decision to launch a digital bank is yet to be finalised. “The management hasn’t taken the decision as well as the board. We are thinking of it. We will conclude by the end of the year or early next year. Contrary to the reports, we plan to convert myFawry into a neo-bank to include financial services,” he told TechCabal over a call. [ad]

Last month, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issued rules for licensing, registering, monitoring, and supervising digital banks. Like Fawry, several companies such as eFinance and Opay have shown interest in applying for a digital banking license. The Egyptian fintech industry is projected to witness significant growth in the coming years, with its market volume hitting $10 billion by 2027. The number of fintechs in the North African country grew five-fold from 32 in 2017 to 177 in 2022.

Fawry—Egypt’s largest e-payment platform—is betting that a digital bank will further expand its serving offerings and diversify its revenue streams by tapping into different segments of the Egyptian market. Earlier in August, the company’s subsidiary, Fawry Microfinance got preliminary approvals from the Financial Regulatory Authority for the addition of SME financing to its portfolio, according to WeeTracker. To tap into Egypt’s growing remittances market, Fawry has partnered with UAE-based voice-calling app Botim to allow Egyptian workers residing in the UAE to pay bills and send home remittances. TechCabal recently reported that Flutterwave, the Nigerian fintech unicorn, is also hoping to capture a share of the Egyptian remittances market.

According to its H1 2023 financial report, Fawry reported a total revenue of EGP 1.4 billion ($45.3 million) in the first half of the year, representing a 42.4% increase from the previous year. Its adjusted net profit also rose 290.4% year-on-year to EGP 327.9 million ($10.6 million) with a net profit margin of 22.7%. The company also recorded 67.6 million transactions on its mobile wallet and EGP 80.5 million ($2.6 million) in transaction value, a rise of 73.9% and 107.7% year-on-year, respectively. 

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Ganiu Oloruntade Reporter, TechCabal

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