The number of access points to financial services reached 31,515 in 2022, up 18% compared to a year earlier, according to Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM).
This development is mainly due to the expansion of the network of payment institutions, which increased from 19,751 in 2021 to 24,511 in 2022, that is a 24% increase, BAM pointed out in its annual report on financial market infrastructures and payment methods, their monitoring and financial inclusion.
An increase to which the ATM network contributed, increasing by 24% from 506 ATMs in 2021 to 627 in 2022.
Compared to the year 2013 when the evaluation system was implemented, the number of access points has increased by 254%, going from 8,913 to 31,515 access points in 2022.
Although the capillarity of the banking network and payment institutions has increased significantly in recent years, disparities persist at the territorial level, since the gaps continue to widen between urban and rural areas.
The report also noted that banking density at the national level has seen a marked improvement, going from an access point for 1,009 adults in 2021 to an access point for 870 adults in 2022.
Despite the evolution observed at the national level, the banking density in rural areas remains quite low since it is only one access point for 4,811 adults compared to one access point for 538 adults in urban areas.
This situation reflects the high concentration of access points in urban areas, and can partly be explained by the economic model of the classic bank branch which does not seem adapted to the low density of rural areas and the low level of income in some areas, since it requires a minimum number of customers to cover fixed charges.
In terms of coverage of rural areas, the percentage of rural municipalities with at least one access point has increased. It, in fact, increased from 32.9% in 2021 to 34.3% in 2022, which mainly results from the expansion of the network of payment institutions.