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Incoming legislation to make 'big difference' for Egypt's fintechs, MNT-Halan CEO says

Mounir Nakhla told Al-Monitor that although financial inclusion has increased in Egypt over the past few years, much of the country's population is still unbanked.

Despite Egypt's economic crisis, the government is now doing more to support fintechs in delivering digitalization of payments and serving the large unbanked population, according to the chief executive officer of MNT Halan, a digital lender that became the country’s first fintech unicorn last year.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, CEO Mounir Nakhla said that financial inclusion has increased in Egypt over the past few years, as well as access to finance and financial services. Financial inclusion rates have increased from 25.8% in 2016 to 70.7% in 2023, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt.

“But access to finance and access to loans for business owners and consumers remains a huge under-served market,” Nakhla said. “If you look at the household debt to GDP in Egypt, it's about 9% compared to other emerging economies [25%] and more developed ones [70%]; which means that households in Egypt are under-banked.”

Nakhla believes that this is in large part due to the small size of Egypt's mortgage market, leaving “a huge gap” to fill.

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