Egypt's annual inflation soared to a record 37.4% in August due to higher food prices. At this time of record inflation, more and more Egyptians are resorting to deferred payment methods to meet their needs. Buy now, pay later – ‘BNPL’ – has been on the rise in Egypt since last year, when the value of the Egyptian pound dropped by more than half after a series of devaluations. Food prices helped to drive Egypt’s headline inflation to another record in August, up to 37.4 per cent from 36.5 per cent the previous month.
With the cost of essentials rising, people have been deferring or reducing spending in other areas. And it does not just apply to big purchases; a vegetable seller in Al Asher, a lower-income neighborhood of the east Cairo district of Nasr City, has begun offering his own BNPL scheme. He said residents of the area can pay for their fruits and vegetables over the course of a week, but he is selective about which customers he allows to do this.
“Most of my customers are women who live in or around the area. So I know where they live and if they don’t come and pay their debts, there is a direct way for me to reach them. So those are mostly the people I accept,” he stated.