Paypal teams up with AttijariWafa Bank to boost Morocco exports

Penetrating new horizons

PayPal has entered the Moroccan market, in partnership with the North African country’s leading bank AttijariWafa, in order to boost the country’s exports, Paypal’s head of business development for the MENA region Francis Barel told Middle East Online on the sidelines of the fifth Global Economic Summit held November 19-21 in Marrakech.
Attijariwafa bank and the American international e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet officially announced on Friday at GES the launch of an exclusive electronic service that will allow Moroccan merchants withdraw their funds from their PayPal account and transfer them to their Attijariwafa bank account with one click in either dirhams or other currencies.
Barel said that the partnership between the companies was the fruit of more than two years of hard work.
Onan Kivanc, PayPal’s regional director the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, told Middle East Online that there “is an immense opportunity for Moroccan entrepreneurs to approach overseas markets” thanks to PayPal’s large portfolio of more than 150 million accounts in 26 countries.
Kivanc believes there is a tremendous potential in the electronic commerce sector in Morocco despite its slow growth compared to e-payments.
Paypal estimates that cross-border e-commerce worldwide will grow threefold in the next three years reaching a staggering $300 billion.
Ismail Douiri, director general of AttijariWafa, said that the Bank signed the partnership with the world’s e-payment leader to allow Moroccan enterprises to penetrate overseas markets.
Moroccans use a local payment system through “Centre monetique interbancaire” in e-commerce transactions.
However, Douiri noted that this e-payment system was a major obstacle hindering transactions with Morocco because it is unknown overseas.
“PayPal is now opening new horizons to Morocco’s exporting businesses which will have the ability to easily repatriate their funds,” said Douiri, adding that his bank was planning to duplicate this experience in other African countries where it operates.
AttijariWafa charges 50 Moroccan dirhams for subscriptions and 0.125% for every e-business transaction.
“We did not want to create barriers to this service in order to encourage Moroccan merchants to use it,” said Meriem Sebti, AttijariWafa marketing manager.
The e-payment system already tested

The Attijari-Paypal has already been tested by Maroc Taswiq, which is s a Moroccan platform that collects and distributes food and cosmetic products made by cooperatives of small-scale producers in 16 of the country's regions.
Mourad Gdah from Maroc taswiq said that they encountered payment problems in the past when they were trying to sell their products online overseas.
“AttijariWafa bank helped us achieve our goals thanks to the new e-payment system because our overseas clients now feel safer,” said Gdah.
Moroccan cooperatives will be among the beneficiaries of the Attijari-PayPal system. However, there are plenty of cooperatives which are based in rural areas where the internet access is scarce and the level of illiteracy is high.
Douiri said that there are initiatives such as providing small loans to help people possess computers in rural areas, but stopped short of setting out plans to raise awareness among rural cooperatives about the new e-payment system.