The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has instructed banks to suspend the use of prepaid cards for international transactions, according to officials from some banks and reported by Al-Masry Al-Youm.
This suspension applies to both cash withdrawals and online purchases made in any foreign currency other than the Egyptian pound. As a result, clients must use an alternative payment method for any international online purchases made with prepaid cards.
The foreign currency crisis currently facing Egypt has led banks to reduce the limits on all types of bank cards for international transactions, including credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards. Additionally, banks have raised the commission rate for cash withdrawals from ATMs outside Egypt, including fees for currency exchange and using external machines, as well as additional fees of up to EGP 50 per withdrawal.
The reason for suspending international transactions using prepaid cards is due to their lack of connection to known bank accounts, which could lead to manipulation or misuse by some customers in foreign transactions using foreign currency.
Visa and Mastercard International Payment Companies operate all cards outside Egypt, including prepaid cards that carry any of their logos, according to the limits allowed by Egyptian banks. However, the prepaid Meeza card issued by the National Payments Network is limited to local transactions only and cannot be used for international transactions.