DPromising prospects in the face of shared concerns. Merchant sites and biller sites affiliated with the Interbank Electronic Payment Center (CMI) carried out 12.8 million online payment transactions via bank cards, Moroccan and foreign, for a total amount of 4.6 billion dirhams (MMDH) during the first half of 2022 (H1-2022).
These operations recorded an increase of 36% in number and 21.3% in amount compared to the same period of 2021, specifies the CMI in its recent report on electronic payment activity in Morocco.
The online payment activity of Moroccan cards increased by 35.3% in number of transactions, from 9.1 million transactions during the first half of 2021 to 12.3 million transactions during the first half of 2022, and by 17.6% in amount, going from 3.6 billion DH in H1-2021 to 4.2 billion DH in H1-2022.
Foreign card online payment activity grew by 55.7% in number of transactions, from 308,000 transactions in H1-2021 to 480,000 transactions in H1-2022, and grew by +102.2% in amount, going from 166.8 million dirhams (MDH) at the end of June 2021 to 337.2 MDH at the end of June 2022.
The activity remains very strongly dominated by Moroccan cards up to 96.2% in number of transactions and 92.6% in amount, reports CMI.
Regarding the activity of merchants and eMerchants affiliated to the CMI, it recorded, during the first half of 2022, some 66.7 million payment transactions, by Moroccan and foreign bank cards, for a total amount of 27.8 MMDH, up 32.4% in number of transactions and 36.7% in amount compared to the same period of 2021.
Payments by Moroccan and foreign bank cards are distributed, in terms of volume, according to the following sectors of activity: Large-scale distribution (20.6%), Hotels (10.5%), Resorts (9.0%), Clothing (8.9%), Restaurants (8.7%), Health (4.9%), Furniture & Electr. (4.2%) and Other sectors (33.2%).
Personal data, the big concern
Nearly nine in ten consumers (85%) want to know how their personal information will be protected before paying online, according to the 2022 Stay Secure survey, launched by Visa and HPS Switch.
Similarly, 78% of consumers said that the security of the payment methods offered on a merchant’s website was the main reason why they chose to pay online with their card rather than cash on delivery (COD ), it says.
“Ensuring that their payment data will be protected (privacy preservation) comes second (57% of consumers), while the price of goods or services is the least important consideration (21%) for choosing payment method”says the survey.
The same trend was seen in-store, where consumers ranked the security of the merchant’s payment system (74%) as the most important factor when considering digital payment options to pay for goods and services, followed by by guarantees and return policies (64%) and safety and hygiene (39%).
More than three in five consumers surveyed have made a digital payment in the past month, and nearly half of those surveyed are using more digital payments in-store — including contactless — and online since Covid-19 hit.
Conservative adherence to card payment
The majority of consumers (77%) said they would switch stores or online shopping sites and apps depending on the payment methods offered by merchants, with most consumers indicating a strong preference for payments digital versus cash, says the survey, which also found that 34% of consumers prefer to use cash for tips in hotels, restaurants or tourist spots and public services.
And if the majority of consumers (68%) say they are confident in recognizing a fraud or a scam, a third of these Moroccans still have difficulties in this area.
Additionally, 81% said they would like to know how security technology works so they can trust digital payment methods in general, reinforcing the importance of consumer education by payments industry stakeholders. — financial institutions, payment companies and governments, to build consumer confidence in digital payments.
Based on the survey results, merchants can take action to increase consumer confidence and improve the checkout experience.
This involves disclosing measures to protect consumers’ personal information, providing clear information on guarantees and refund options, and displaying the logos/symbols of banking and payment partners, notes the same source.
For Leila Serhan, Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for North Africa at Visa, “the fact that consumers value security and privacy more than price and transparency when it comes to the processing of their personal data, is an important consideration for merchants looking to establish and to maintain consumer confidence in their payment offers”.
And to continue: “The fact that a third of consumers are still unable to identify potential fraud reinforces the need for all players in the payments ecosystem to continue to work together to ensure consumer protection.”
For her part, Hanae Ben Driss, General Manager of HPS Switch, noted that“in Morocco, the 2022 Stay Secure survey confirms the positive trend of consumers becoming more attentive to how their personal data is handled, especially as fraud attempts have seen a sharp upsurge since the rise of the e-commerce resulting from the pandemic”.
She also pointed out that how merchants manage data protection and privacy can become a point of differentiation and even a source of competitive business advantage. “With more consumers choosing to spend online than ever before, now is the perfect time for merchants to take a thoughtful approach to data management and invest in much-needed technology to make customer payments be as safe and secure as possible”she concluded, quoted in the press release.