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    Moroccan Digital Transition Is Lagging, 98% of Transactions in Cash

    Morocco remains heavily reliant on cash, giving little room for digital transaction solutions.

    17 Jun 2022

    Rabat - Despite Moroccan efforts to digitize public services and boost the digital economy, 98% of transactions in Morocco in 2020 were exclusively in cash.

    In its latest report, “The Inflection Point: Africa’s digital economy is poised to take off,” New York-based NGO Endeavor reported that the use of cash remains dominant in African countries due to low urbanization rates and lagging banking infrastructure.

    Morocco ranked 1st among the African countries cited in the report with the largest cash share in transactions, putting it ahead of Egypt at 92.5%, Nigeria at 92.3%, South Africa at 85.6%, and Kenya at 80.6%.

    Globally, the report noted that the UK held the highest reliance on digital transitions with cash being used only in 22.1% of transactions.

    Morocco’s low use of digital transactions was further explained in the report as it showed that 64% of Moroccans prefer to complete transactions through branches. Transactions at ATMs, mobile transactions, and internet transactions represent the remaining and yet less preferable options.

    Moroccan reliance on physical transactions put the North African country in the fifth position in the continent below Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, and Kenya. The four countries have a lower preference for transactions through branches (15-40%) giving space for more digital transactions through mobile and the internet.

    Not surprisingly, Morocco has Africa’s highest rate of bank branches for every 100,000 adults, at 24. This trend supports the flow of money transactions through bank branches and puts Morocco ahead of South Africa, Botswana, and Ghana in this category since they only offer 9 bank branches for every 100k adults.

    However, the Endeavor report said that only 28% of the Moroccan population has a bank account, placing the country in the 10th position in Africa, way below South Africa (67%), Kenya (56%), and Botswana (45%).

    While Moroccans continue to distrust digital economy tools, Africa’s digital economy is expected to reach $712 billion in 2050, up from its current value of $115 billion. COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in tech talent lay the ground for such a transition.

    The recent growth in investment and startup funding has also helped in promoting e-commerce solutions. For instance, over the past 6 years, Africa has produced 11 unicorns - startups valued at $1 billion - including renowned e-commerce platform Jumia.

    Considering that 1 in 6 internet users in 2050 will be in Africa, the continent is on the right path to support its transition towards a digital economy. This transition is expected to address pressing regional issues such as the need for economic growth and prosperity, as well as the reduction of unemployment rates.

    However, the continent continues to lag behind other regions when it comes to the use of digital solutions and the funding of local innovative startups, which is considered essential to boost the regional digital economy.


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