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Morocco records more than 100 million e-payments for the first time

CMI director says e-commerce is booming in the Maghreb country
Mastercard Inc. credit cards

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   Mastercard Inc. credit cards

The Moroccan Monetary Centre (CMI) has announced that records have been broken in Morocco. Ismail Bellali, the centre's director general, said that for the first time in the history of the Alawi country, more than 100 million electronic payments were recorded a few days ago. Bellali said that these payments were made through Moroccan and foreign bank cards. In addition, most of these have been made through business websites that are in line with the CMI. 

This fact is very good news for the Kingdom, which can help to attract more merchants and customers who can use this e-commerce for transactions, purchases and other banking transactions in a very safe and secure way. 

The activity of paying online and using, primarily, the credit or debit card has experienced a remarkable growth in 2021 and 2020 compared to other years. The Interbank Electronic Banking Centre states that during 2020 there has been an increase of more than 19% in the number of transactions, reaching up to 325 million. Moreover, 275 billion dirhams have been raised through these transactions.

Tarjeta de crédito
PHOTO/FILE - Credit Card

Card payment activity and internet commerce has grown very strongly in the nation. The CMI notes that "we have thus gone from a contactless ratio of 9.2% in number and 3.7% in amount during the period of the first 9 months of 2020, to a rate of 32.5% in number and 15% in amount, during the period of the first 9 months of 2021". The same report also states that "the number of bank cards issued by Moroccan issuers has surpassed the threshold of 18 million bank cards in circulation, including almost 10 million cards with contactless functionality".

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, the use of cards for payment has grown dramatically, so much so that even the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended using this method to avoid cash handling and thus curb possible transmissions of the coronavirus. As a result, shops have had to adapt to this new way of paying, as well as stating that you can now pay for anything if you have a mobile phone or a card. This fact has also forced people to use the internet to shop, even those who did not trust it. Internet shopping also offers immediacy and security in ordering, which has forced users to use this method, apart from the convenience of not having to travel to make a purchase. During the confinement, and worldwide, the purchase of fresh produce online grew, especially during the months of confinement. In addition, companies and entrepreneurs have seen this opportunity to make a new form of business that has even led to online shops through the WhatsApp social network, and you can buy something through a message or a call.

Tarjetas de crédito Visa
AP/JENNY KANE - Visa credit cards

"The circumstances of the pandemic have led individuals and merchants to adopt this method of payment more quickly than would have been the case in normal times without a pandemic. The health crisis has therefore had the effect of an accelerator. Often, when customers want to pay in a shop, we find that merchants regularly ask if the credit card has this method of payment," said Ismail Bellali. 

He also claims that this habit is going to stay forever, as well as being pandemic due to new technological advances and has pointed out that a rate of 80 to 85% will be reached by contactless payment in the near future. 

Finally, the CMI points out that this type of payment is distributed in basic sectors of society and affirms that those with most activity are mass distribution, with 25.2%, the clothing sector, which accumulates 10.6%; the hotel sector which has 7.2%; stations with 7%; restaurants in which 6.2% pay by card, among others.