Egypt's central bank obliges banks to facilitate access to banking transactions for people with disabilities



Thu, 30 Sep 2021 - 04:34 GMT


Thu, 30 Sep 2021 - 04:34 GMT

People with disabilities - FILE

People with disabilities - FILE

CAIRO – 30 September 2021: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issued Thursday instructions to banks to facilitate access of people with disabilities to all banking services and products, in a way that helps empower them and integrate them into society, and obtain their rights guaranteed to them by the constitution and law.


The new instructions come in light of the Central Bank of Egypt’s keenness to achieve financial inclusion and to include all groups, especially people with disabilities in the banking sector, and to emphasize the importance of providing banking services to all citizens without discrimination and working to strengthen the infrastructure necessary to facilitate banking transactions, CBE clarified.


It added that these instructions apply to customers with disabilities who have a complete or partial deficiency or defect, whether physical or sensory, as banks have been obligated to include them among the target customer categories, provide savings vessels and appropriate banking products, in addition to issuing bank cards with a special design that allows the use of prominent letters or numbers, and providing a mechanism to follow up on customers' use of their accounts (such as using electronic means to allow dealing with a screen reader system, short message service, or calling a blind customer).


CBE explained that the instructions allowed to accept the stamp and fingerprint as an alternative to signing all banking procedures, and to provide the required assistance to the customer with disabilities in choosing the appropriate banking service and product, with the possibility of the customer using an assistant from the branch staff in addition to witnesses if the customer requested that.


It pointed out that to achieve disclosure and transparency requirements, the new instructions obligated banks to make account opening contracts and application forms for bank products and services clear and uncomplicated, with publications, bank notices and account statements available in Braille or in the form of audio CDs, in addition to making all information about products and services available on the bank’s website and social media, accompanied by audio reading for people with visual disabilities and sign language for people with hearing disabilities.


The Central Bank noted that with regard to preparing the infrastructure for banks, banks were obligated to prepare 10% of the existing bank branches as a minimum to deal with people with disabilities, taking into account the suitability of the new branches to their needs, as well as providing ATMs with special specifications to facilitate the provision of banking services, at a rate of no less than 10% of the total number of machines.

It also allows automated audio recordings inside the branches through a device equipped with headphones to read the most important terms and conditions included in the contracts, and forms signed by the customer with visual impairment, and to allow the bank to display its products and services in sign language on the screens in the branch.


The central bank stressed that the instructions issued were concerned with training and preparing the human cadres working in banks to communicate effectively with customers with disabilities in the branches, while allowing home visits if necessary.


It also obligated all banks to adjust their positions in accordance with the instructions issued within a period not exceeding a year from the date of their issuance, which is a breakthrough in facilitating banking transactions for people of determination with the start of the application of these instructions, which came after a study and multiple discussions with the concerned parties, with the aim of strengthening the directions of the state, within the framework of its vision to provide all services, especially financial services for people of determination, without discrimination.




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