Bad news for Egyptian holidaymakers hoping to spend the Eid holidays abroad – the Central Bank of Egypt has today announced that it has banned the use of local debit cards outside of the country.
“Please ensure that debit cards, including pre-paid cards, issued in local currency by Egyptian banks are only used within the country,” said a letter sent today to bank chiefs across Egypt. The move comes as the latest measure to combat the country’s foreign currency shortage and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for many Cairenes.
With the Eid ahead, many will have been looking forward to holidaying abroad and any already-booked trips will invariably be impacted by the decision. While debit cards for accounts in foreign currencies and credit cards will function as normal, it does spell a troubling time for Egyptians abroad, with businesses and Egyptians students also set to be effected by a decision that comes three months after the central bank devalued the Egyptian pound.
It’s understood that the ruling could be in effect within a week, with many state-owned and private banks only asking for a few days implement it.
By Kalam El Qahaira