Instant inter-bank transfer service in Morocco record around 50.000 operations a day

Instant inter-bank transfer service in Morocco record around 50.000 operations a day

Two months after the launch of instant bank transfers, this service is becoming increasingly popular among Moroccans as the daily number of transactions has reached about 50.000.

With this implementation, the transfer process no longer requires 48 hours as before, but only takes up a few seconds for the money to reach its destination.

On June first, Bank Al-Maghrib and the Moroccan Interbank Electronic Clearing System announced the launch of instant bank transfer within the framework of the goals aimed at modernizing Morocco’s payment systems. 

This service allows each person to transfer money in less than 20 seconds from his account opened in a bank to an account in a different bank.

On the outcome, details, benefits, and context of this implementation, MoroccoLatestNews AR interviewed Noureddine El Ajami, General Manager of the Electronic Clearing System Group between Moroccan banks, in the bank’s capacity as the administrator of the payment system in charge of automated processing, clearing of exchanges and written payment methods.

This is the text of the dialogue:

The instant bank transfer service was launched on June first. Is there an initial outcome about the demand for this service?

The outcome is very positive and sa, as satisfying, we noticed that the number of instant bank transfers is increasing day by day. We are recording between 30.000 and 50.000 transfers daily.

This means that Moroccan citizens use this service, and therefore we expect good prospects in the future.

Our goal is to improve performance with this service, because it facilitates the task for the citizen, especially since the immediate transfer can be accomplished at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

This relieves the customer from going to the agency, thus saving time.

What are the importance and benefits of this service, whether for individuals or customers and for the economy in general?

The benefits of this service are numerous; The first is that it is a 24/7 service, and the second is that the process is guaranteed.

Currently, the transfer limit is set at MAD20.000, and this is a preliminary measure adopted by all countries. It is expected that it will be gradually raised in agreement with banks and Bank Al-Maghrib, especially with the high demand for the service.

The current limit remains an obstacle for companies, but this matter will be overcome because we are in the beginning stage. 

In France, for example, the service was launched with a maximum limit of 15.000 euros and has now been raised to 100.000 euros. 

There are countries that have adopted conversion without a limit. We are continuing to develop this service in partnership with banks in order to keep pace with customers’ needs.

Given the development of the national banking sector and its distinction at the continental and Arab levels, did this service come late?

No, it is not too late. Rather, it kept pace with development at the global and local levels. In Europe, instant transfer was introduced in 2018, but not all banks did. 

In Morocco, we took another path from the beginning, marked by the involvement of all banking institutions (most banks are actually involved in the service and the rest are in the process of being prepared to provide this service), because it is a big project that required significant investments in order to adopt advanced and secure technology. 

This makes Morocco the first in this field at the continental level.

Technically, what has changed after adopting instant transfer?

Previously, transferring money between banks required time, as the customer submitted his request to his banking agency or via the phone application. 

The requests are collected and sent at the end of the day to the electronic clearing system group between Moroccan banks, to carry out the clearing process and return them to the banks on the second day, which requires between 24 to 48 hours. 

Today, the process has become immediate and rapid, after three years of work and a very advanced technology that was chosen after an international comparative study. 

In this important project, highly qualified Moroccan human resources were relied upon, including engineers and technicians in various disciplines.

When will the instant transfer cap be raised to more than MAD20.000?

This will be based on the assessments that are conducted monthly within the framework of the Group’s Board of Directors, and we have a leadership committee chaired by the Group with the banks in addition to Bank Al-Maghrib, in which decisions are taken in this regard. 

It is also expected that we will adopt a strategic plan within the framework of the Administrative Council to develop the clearing system in general, in order to keep pace with developments in the banking sector.

What is the electronic clearing system group between Moroccan banks, and what is its role in the banking system?

We are a group of economic benefits established in 2010 in accordance with Law No. 13.97, which stipulates that two or more legal and personal individuals may establish among themselves a group of economic benefits with the aim of harnessing all means that would facilitate or develop the economic activity of its members and improve or develop results of this activity. 

The group is funded by Moroccan banks represented in the group’s general assembly.

The Group’s mission is to manage payment instruments through checks, deductions, transfers, bills of exchange, and instant transfers between Moroccan banks while ensuring the proper functioning of the payment system in the Kingdom.

This service presents a new challenge with regard to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. How did you prepare for this matter?

This process is subject to the supervision applied to banks currently. Therefore, the instant transfer did not add any new risks, in addition to the fact that instant transfer operations are carried out by customers while they are subject to the necessary legal procedures from their banking institutions, within the framework of combating the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.


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