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    HomeEcosystem NewsEgypt's Banque Misr Invests $114 Million in Newly Licensed Digital Bank OneBank

    Egypt’s Banque Misr Invests $114 Million in Newly Licensed Digital Bank OneBank

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    In a landmark move set to transform Egypt’s banking sector, Banque Misr has invested $114 million in its newly licensed digital banking subsidiary, OneBank. Sherif El-Beheiry, CEO and Managing Director of Misr Digital Innovation Company, anticipates that the company will receive the final license to launch OneBank in the first quarter of 2025.

    Misr Digital Innovation Company, established in 2020, is a subsidiary of Banque Misr, the second-largest state-owned bank in Egypt. The company’s primary objective is to introduce the country’s first digital bank. The Central Bank of Egypt granted initial approval for OneBank in May, marking the completion of the first phase of the rigorous licensing process, which includes three stages.

    El-Beheiry commented on the bank’s timeline, stating, “It is possible that after the [final] approval, in a month or two, we will prepare ourselves,” though he did not provide specific details on the preparations.

    The total investment in OneBank amounts to approximately 5.5 billion Egyptian pounds (EGP), equivalent to $114 million. Of this, around EGP 2.5 billion has already been spent, primarily on infrastructure development. The bank’s current capital stands at EGP 4 billion, according to El-Beheiry.

    The Central Bank’s initial approval came after a thorough due diligence process, which examined OneBank’s infrastructure, systems, and security measures. This approval signals the beginning of the final stages of the licensing procedure, paving the way for the launch of Egypt’s first fully licensed digital bank.

    OneBank is expected to debut in the last quarter of 2024. As a subsidiary of Banque Misr, which holds the largest stake in the venture, OneBank aims to revolutionize banking in Egypt by leveraging digital technologies to enhance financial inclusion.

    The primary goal of OneBank is to democratize access to banking services through its digital platforms. By offering a wide array of solutions tailored to meet the evolving needs of customers, OneBank seeks to usher in a new era of banking in Egypt. Advanced technological innovations will enable the bank to provide personalized products and services that align with the diverse lifestyles of its clientele.

    The launch of OneBank comes at a time when Egypt’s financial market is experiencing growing demand for digital banking solutions. Emphasizing financial inclusion and digital transformation, OneBank represents a significant step forward in the evolution of the country’s banking services.

    To secure approval from the Central Bank, OneBank met stringent licensing requirements. These requirements include a minimum issued and paid-up capital of EGP 2 billion ($41 million), with the capital increasing to EGP 4 billion ($83 million) in cases involving financing for large companies. Additionally, the majority shareholder must be a financial institution with a proven track record in similar activities, holding a minimum ownership of 30% of the total capital.

    The Central Bank’s comprehensive guidelines are designed to ensure transparency, legality, and the ability of digital banks to provide secure and reliable services. By adhering to these requirements, aspiring digital banks can enhance their prospects of obtaining the necessary licenses.

    Prominent players in the banking and digital payment sectors, including Banque Misr, Opay, and Visa, have expressed keen interest in acquiring stakes in the new digital bank. This development underscores the significance of OneBank within Egypt’s financial landscape, highlighting the potential for significant advancements in the country’s banking services.

    As OneBank prepares for its official launch, the financial industry in Egypt watches closely, anticipating the impact of this innovative venture on the nation’s banking ecosystem.

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