Payments Landscape in Morocco: Opportunities and Risks to 2022

Payments Landscape in Morocco: Opportunities and Risks to 2022


Payment cards are at a nascent stage of development in Morocco, and accounted for only 1.8% of the total payment transaction value in 2018. The low uptake of payment cards is due to the country’s high dependence on cash and the limited acceptance of payment cards at merchant locations. However, the government’s financial inclusion program led to the percentage of Moroccan individuals aged 15 or above with a bank account increasing from 21.4% in 2014 to 30.4% in 2018.

Furthermore, as merchants have gradually started accepting payment cards, the share of payment cards in terms of transaction value and volume increased during the review period (2014-18e). The uptake of payment cards over the forecast period (2018e-22f) will further be accelerated by the availability of convenient and more affordable banking services, the advent of digital-only banks, the growing popularity of online shopping, and the gradual adoption and acceptance of contactless cards by individuals and retailers in the country.

Debit cards accounted for 99.5% of the transaction value in 2018. As part of its financial inclusion program, Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), the central bank of Morocco, directed banks to provide services in rural areas, expand banking infrastructure, and introduce products and services for low-income groups. In line with this, banks are offering low-cost bank accounts. Attijariwafa bank, along with its subsidiary Wafacash, offers Hissab Bikhir, a banking service that provides users with access to basic banking products without a cheque book.

Credit and charge cards are not popular in Morocco, accounting for a 0.5% share of the total payment card value in 2018, mainly due to religious reasons, as Islam forbids interest, as well as due to limited awareness about the benefits of credit cards. To promote credit card adoption and usage, banks are targeting less risky segments such as high-income populations. They are offered value-added services such as reward points and discounts on the purchases of goods and services at partner retailers.

E-commerce has registered healthy growth, rising from MAD27.3bn ($2.85bn) in 2014 to MAD43.3bn ($4.53bn) in 2018. This growth can be mainly attributed to the rising number of online retailers, growing online and mobile penetration, and the development of secure online gateways. According to Centre Monétique Interbancaire (CMI), the volume and value of transactions for online purchases using domestic cards during the nine months ending September 2018 increased to 6.2 million transactions - up by 30.1% in comparison to 2017.

The report Payments Landscape in Morocco: Opportunities and Risks to 2022, provides top-level market analysis, information and insights into the Moroccan cards and payments industry, including-

  • Current and forecast values for each market in the Moroccan cards and payments industry, including debit and credit cards
  • Detailed insights into payment instruments including cards, credit transfers, direct debits, and cheques. It also includes an overview of the country's key alternative payment instruments
  • E-commerce market analysis
  • Analysis of various market drivers and regulations governing the Moroccan cards and payments industry
  • Detailed analysis of strategies adopted by banks and other institutions to market debit and credit cards
Companies Mentioned: Banque Populaire, BMCE Bank, Attijariwafa bank, Crédit Agricole, CMI, Visa, Mastercard

  • To encourage electronic payments, the BAM, in association with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) and a consortium of leading banks, launched the mobile banking app M-Wallet in November 2018, enabling users to carry out various transactions such as in-store payments, bill payments, transfer of funds, checking of account balance and tracking expenditures directly on their mobile phone. According to ANRT, the number of mobile subscribers in Morocco stood at 44 million as of June 2018, and the BAM expects that transactions worth MAD50bn ($5.23bn) will be made via the wallet by 2023.
  • With growing demand for Sharia-compliant banking services, in January 2017 the BAM gave authorization to Attijariwafa bank, Banque Populaire, BMCE Bank and CIH Bank to offer Sharia-compliant products and services in Morocco. Furthermore, the BAM permitted the French bank subsidiaries Société Générale of France, Crédit du Maroc and BMCI to start providing Islamic financial products and services in the country. Currently, Sharia-compliant products such as deposit accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts and real estate financing are being offered; this initiative should pave the way for the introduction of Sharia-compliant credit cards in the country in coming years.
  • While bricks-and-mortar branches remain important in Morocco, digital banks have started to enter the market. In December 2016, Attijariwafa bank launched a mobile-only bank called L'bankalik. This digital bank enables individuals to open three types of accounts online - Bankalink Smart, Flex and Premium - without the need to visit a branch. Most recently in February 2019, the Morocco-based CFG Bank, in collaboration with the US-based digital banking solution provider Kony, launched a mobile banking app based on Kony’s digital banking platform Kony DBX. This app allows the bank’s customers to conduct a range of banking transactions.
Reasons to buy
  • Make strategic business decisions, using top-level historic and forecast market data, related to the Moroccan cards and payments industry and each market within it.
  • Understand the key market trends and growth opportunities in the Moroccan cards and payments industry.
  • Assess the competitive dynamics in the Moroccan cards and payments industry.
  • Gain insights into marketing strategies used for various card types in Morocco.
  • Gain insights into key regulations governing the Moroccan cards and payments industry.

Market Overview
Executive Summary
Card-based Payments
E-commerce Payments
Alternative Payments
Payment Innovations
Payments Infrastructure & Regulation

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