On the lower end of Egyptâ€™s cash economy (90% of transactions are estimated to be carried out in cash), many people would also welcome an initiative to improve the supply of SMEs with smaller denominations.
Penetration of SMEs with banking services is low, agreed, but why is it that no-one has change? If youâ€™re the first customer at your local grocery in the early morning or the first in a fast-food outlet in the late morning hours, it takes ages for them to scrape up your change together from all employees around.
Anyways, even if banks donâ€™t offer cash-flow services to SMEs, I think many would welcome it if shop owners found a way to keep change in their shop at the end of the day for the next morning (or bring it with them before opening), and I always wondered why theyâ€™re not doing so. Cash-flow of groceries and other shops is much higher then what youâ€™d think.
Another consequence of the fact that SMEs/shops and banks have in so far (now many banks consider it as an opportunity for growth) largely ignored each other, is the prevalence of worn-out banknotes. It is one function of the Central Bank (via banks) to separate them out, but that doesnâ€™t work if banks never get to see themâ€¦
(Besides that, I also donâ€™t understand the Egyptian mentality here. Instead of fighting over it, you just pass that outworn khamza gineh right on to the next passenger (in case of taxi drivers), and everyone involved is muss less stressed. Iranians, for instance, are not at all obsessed about clean money. They just tear half-torn notes into two proper pieces and then tape them.)