Casablanca, Morocco, 14 July 2021: Moroccan consumers are increasingly stepping away from cash and putting their trust in digital payments in both in-store and online environments during the pandemic, according to the 2021 Stay Secure survey launched today by Visa and HPS.
Cash is unlikely to return to its previous high level of use
According to the study, the use of cash in Morocco continues to decline. While eCommerce and contactless payments have increased in popularity and use since the start of the pandemic, paying by Cash on Delivery (COD) has declined significantly by 86%, while the use of digital payments (chip & PIN and contactless cards) for payment online or on delivery has grown by 74%. The use of cash has also decreased with 43% of consumers surveyed saying they are using it less for in-store shopping, while the use of digital payments witnessed with 49% on average saying they are using it more often. Consumer feedback reinforces the belief that there is no reversal of this trend, with 46% stating they are more likely to use contactless payment methods in the future.
Trust driving consumer preference in contactless and digital payments, but some concerns remain
Over four fifths of consumers surveyed (84%) have high levels of confidence in contactless cards for shopping in-store and payment on delivery. Top reasons consumers gave for their trust in contactless include speed (62%), avoiding human touch (46%), convenience (43%), innovative to pay (40%) and seamless (22%).
Knowledge of the technology that protects digital payments is a driver of consumer trust. Among consumers who trust digital payments, only one in eight said their knowledge and understanding of how digital payments are protected by innovative technologies such as tokenization helps them feel secure about cashless options.
Among those who do not have adequate levels of knowledge of the technology, 75% said knowing how tokenization works would help build their confidence in digital payments and resolve lagging doubts about the safety of digital payments. For example, 48% fear misuse of lost or stolen contactless cards due to a lack of understanding of how the technology works (20%). These findings reinforce the importance of continual education on safe digital payment practices among consumers to maintain their trust.
Consumers' experience with fraud
The survey also sheds light on consumers' experiences with fraud, with one-fifth of consumers (21%) saying they have experienced it. Around a third of consumers (32%) have experienced receiving counterfeit goods, while a few have experienced fraud with lost or stolen card (23%) and phishing (12%).
In the event of fraud, contacting customer care (67%), informing the bank (37%) and deleting online profiles (37%) are the most important actions consumers are likely to take.
Hanae BenDriss, Deputy Managing Director HPS Processing: “Morocco has been experiencing an evolution in the adoption of electronic payment methods for several years and ecosystem players are investing heavily in infrastructure such as, for example, the investment in 2019 in the national mobile payment project aimed at promoting access to banking services and mobile payments.”
“Faced with the COVID 19 pandemic and the health risks associated with the use of cash, this underlying trend has accelerated as highlighted by the study conducted by our partner Visa. In this context, it is imperative that payment security evolves at the speed of innovation in order to build strong trust and combat the risks of fraud.”
“HPS Switch, a key player in this ecosystem, is driven by the desire to make payment transactions simpler, more fluid and more and more secure. It is therefore important to continue communication actions to the general public, like the Stay Secure campaign of our partner Visa, for greater awareness of the adoption and use of new technologies and means of payment.”
Neil Fernandes, Visa's Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, commented, "As our survey results indicate, Moroccan consumers have fully embraced digital payments in the COVID-19 era but that does not come without risks. As consumer’s shift online, fraudsters have sought opportunities to exploit these changes in how people pay for goods and services. This is why constant consumer education is so much more important than ever before. The fact that consumers surveyed would contact banks in the event of fraud is a credit to the diligent efforts of our partners in Morocco who are committed to keeping consumers safe and empowering them to use digital payments and online channels with confidence. However, as an industry we cannot afford to let our guard down. Our ongoing Stay Secure campaign is our effort in bringing together all participants in the payments ecosystem to work together to advance efforts to educate consumers on how to stay vigilant, identify potential fraud, and what actions they should take if they are affected."
The survey corresponds with the launch of Visa's "Stay Secure" social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram (@VisaMiddleEast) in partnership with HPS. The campaign reinforces safe digital payment practices and reminds consumers on how they can protect personal data even as they enjoy the benefits and convenience of eCommerce and contactless payments. The Morocco Stay Secure webpage also includes fraud prevention tips for consumers and information on security features of digital payments.