New Agreement Expands First Data’s Client Base into Egypt
Cairo, Feb. 2, 2010 – First Data Corporation , a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, has announced a new, three-year agreement with the Ministry of State for Administrative Development of the Republic of Egypt (MSAD), for the extension of the Egyptian government’s family card project, which covers subsidised food and Social Solidarity pension services in nine governorates/provinces.
Under terms of the agreement, First Data will provide a fully managed service for the issuing and processing of more than 4.5 million multifunctional, reloadable smart cards. These cards are used by eligible families to claim subsidised food at grocery stores and Social Solidarity pensions at service centres throughout Egypt. The agreement marks the expansion of First Data’s business into the emerging Egyptian payments market.
First Data will roll out cards during the next seven months, working with specialist local and government institutes including MASRIA CARD, the oldest and most advanced card manufacturer in Egypt, for cards production and personalisation, and the Aviation Information Technology Company (AVIT), a subsidiary of the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation, for the provision of hardware and networking infrastructure. AVIT will provide operation and data hosting services from its data centre to support the installation and maintenance of 11,000 new point-of-sale terminals at grocery stores throughout nine governorates in Egypt, serving 4.5 million families each month. Additionally, First Data will develop a network of service centres to support cardholders and grocery outlets. The payment card and processing technology used will also allow citizens to use the cards to claim a range of other government benefits such as health, transportation, gas and other subsidies, when these are launched.
“We selected First Data for its scale, payments expertise and ability to deliver a turnkey solution within the challenging timescales for this last and most important phase of our family card project,” said Dr. Ahmed Samir Elrafie, head of Policies and Programmes Sector at the Ministry of State for Administrative Development. “With First Data’s support, we will be able to provide citizens with reliable and convenient access to subsidised food and Social Solidarity pensions, with the scope to expand the project to include a range of other government benefits in the future.”
“First Data helps organisations around the world to develop more cost-effective prepaid card programmes, leveraging industry-leading technology and an in-depth knowledge of customers’ behaviours and preferences,” said George Tsoutsos, managing director of First Data’s operations in North Africa. “This agreement reflects First Data’s commitment to the emerging payments markets of North Africa and our ability to drive investment to support payment infrastructure development. We continue to expand our relationships with government sector organisations, particularly those in emerging markets, and are delighted to support MSAD by playing a key role in delivering this important piece of payments infrastructure in Egypt”.
Prepaid cards are an effective way of reaching underserved and unbanked populations – a common feature in developing payment markets such as Egypt. Through prepaid card programmes, government organisations can offer consumers increased utility within a secure environment, enabling them to participate in an increasingly cashless society.
About the Ministry of State for Administrative Development (MSAD)
The Ministry of State for Administrative Development (MSAD) works towards implementing the National Plan of raising the efficiency of the state's administrative body through an integrated management system of modernizing the Egyptian government. This is achieved through the Ministry's following programmes:
Institutional Development: aims to develop plans, policies, laws and modern management structures. In addition, adjust the salary and incentive system, enhance the work environment, the development of human resource and train employees working within the state's administrative system on modern management systems and refine their expertise.
Governmental Services Development: aims to provide citizens and investors with services throughout the country in an efficient, effective and convenient manner. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Programme: aims to enhance the governmental work process reduce government spending and the automation of public bodies through the usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The MSAD perceives Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a strategic tool that could be used in implementing the National Development Programme, which seeks to raise the efficiency of the state's administrative body, and deliver governmental services at a fast pace in an environment that is highly effective. Government services can be delivered to citizens through various integrated service channels at their convenience.
About First Data
First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of electronic payment. Whether the choice of payment is a gift card, a credit or debit card or a check, First Data securely processes the transaction and harnesses the power of the data to deliver intelligence and insight for millions of merchant locations and thousands of card issuers in 36 countries. For more information, visit www.firstdata.com .
Sunayana Kripalani, First Data