Morocco’s central bank and telecommunication regulator jointly launched nationwide mobile payments platform M-wallet, as authorities attempt to reduce use of physical cash.
A statement from Bank Al-Maghrib and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency said M-wallet took two years of development and had been created in coordination with Morocco’s banks, payment processors and mobile operators.
The platform will support peer-to-peer transfer; merchant payments; and basic deposits and withdrawals at participating agents. It is an attempt by the country to increase financial inclusion and reduce use of physical cash.
Reuters reported Bank Al-Maghrib expects mobile wallet transactions to hit MAD50 billion ($5.3 billion) by 2023. Along with the payments platform, the central bank is set to issue regulations to “protect users” making mobile payments.
This is not the first time there has been a concerted effort to push mobile financial services in the country.
In 2010, market leader Maroc Telecom launched MobiCash in partnership with Attijariwafa Bank while in 2013 rival Mediatel (now known as Orange Maroc) launched its Cash platform with BMCE Bank.
However, neither those services or those provided by high street banks were able to make the scale of impact desired by authorities.Subscribe to our daily newsletter