Morocco: Card payments up but mobile alternatives lagging behind

Aug 02, 2011

Payments by bank card are more and more popular in Morocco, according to new figures from Al-Maghrib bank.

The electric money sector's turnover, for the payment part, increased by more than 24 per cent between 2009 and 2010, rising from 9.58 billion Moroccan dirhams (€845.8 million) to 11.91 billion Moroccan dirhams, Le Matin newspaper reports.

It is due to a steady contribution from markets such as distribution and hotels, as well as card payments for Airlines and telecoms.

This announcement is in contrast with the relatively poor performance of mobile banking services. MobiCash by Maroc Telecom, which allows users to deposit, withdraw and transfer money via mobile phone, is still the only service offered.

"The concept is interesting. However the consumer is confused and distrustful. People are not used to seeing this type of product offered by a mobile operator," explained Mounir Essayegh, Managing Director of M2M Group, quoted by La Vie Eco newspaper.

According to Philippe Pestanes, Associate at the Kurt Salmon and PHB Development firm, which released a 2010 study on this topic, Morocco is a special case because the level of bank account ownership is much higher than in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He also believes
that the legislation isn't adapted and financial institutions are hesitant, the news source reported.ADNFCR-2976-ID-800673211-ADNFCR