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Egypt’s central bank approves contactless payments



CAIRO:

Egypt’s central bank has approved the granting of licences to allow merchants to accept contactless payments from their customers’ mobile phones, it said on Sunday.

It did not say how soon the new system would be in place or who would be eligible to receive the licences.

New legislation and regulatory changes in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, are helping to unleash a surge in new fintech investments and change the way the country’s largely unbanked citizens do business.

Tax social media stars

Egypt said it will tax social media content creators in a revenue raising exercise as more citizens look to online platforms to make a living.

The tax authority said “YouTubers and bloggers” earning over 500,000 pounds ($32,000) annually would be taxed, in a statement issued Saturday.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country with over a 100 million people, has reached a 60 per cent internet penetration rate, according to official figures.

Social media was awash with comments after the taxation move.

“Poor vegetable sellers are taxed, so we can also tax the rich,” an Egyptian wrote on Twitter.

But another said the latest decision would drive content creators out of the country.

“If the government wants to tax YouTubers then it must at least give us better internet and scrap the whole limited gigabytes packages”, a user chimed in on Twitter.

Mohamed al-Gayyar, a senior tax authority official, tried to temper reactions on Sunday.

“Anyone who makes a profit in Egypt must be fairly taxed whatever their field of work is,” he said on public television.





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Written by Atif Hasnain

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