They reached 2 billion dirhams at the end of March, up 15% compared to the 1st quarter of 2021. The average basket is in continuous decline. An amount of 82.8 billion DH was withdrawn from ATMs, up 9.6%.
Internet payment continues to attract Morocco. Since the start of the pandemic, habits and customs regarding the use of payments and transactions have undergone significant changes in favor of online operations. At the end of March this year, online payments had accumulated more than 2 billion DH, up 15.1% compared to the same period of the previous year. This corresponds to nearly 6 million operations, up 35%. To give an order of magnitude on the increasingly increased orientation towards this channel, online transactions have increased by 98% in amount and 160% in number since 2019. Besides, a catch-up effect has been recorded at the level foreign cards. After a drop of almost 6% going up to 1er quarter of 2020 and 7.3% in the same quarter the following year, transactions posted good growth to reach 272 MDH, an increase of 63.3%. In number, foreign cards carried out 387,838 transactions, up 26%. It should be noted at the same time that the pace of growth in cash is slowing down. While fiduciary circulation had increased by 17.5% between April 2019 and the same month the following year, it only increased by 9% between April 2020/2021, to keep the same rate of growth in 2022. This intervened concomitantly with the period of confinement and all that this generated such as fear of dealing with any vector carrying the virus, the deployment of contactless, the effort to digitize payments with most merchants, etc.
This recourse to online payments is palpable essentially with regard to the average basket of the operation. It appears to be decreasing, year after year, both for Moroccan and foreign card transactions. The 1eras posted an average basket of 345.5 DH, at the end of March, against 453.4 DH in the same quarter of 2019. For the seconds, the average basket was 702 DH instead of 1,353 DH, three years earlier . This shows that bank cards are used even for small amounts.
More generally, payment and withdrawal cards totaled 18.18 million transactions, up 2.3%. In detail, payment activity by Moroccan bank cards reached 10.4 billion dirhams, up 16.2%, or the equivalent of 29 million transactions, up 26%. Foreign cards, they made payments of around 6.2 billion DH (+20.8%), for 6.6 transactions (+32.3%). Thus, the average payment amount was set at 357 DH, against 420 DH on 1er quarter 2019.
At the same time, an amount of 82.8 billion dirhams was withdrawn from ATMs on March 30 (+9.6%), representing a total number of 86 million withdrawal operations (11.4%). The average withdrawal amount is therefore 961 DH, instead of 892 DH, at the same period in 2019. On the other hand, the average withdrawal made by foreign cards has increased from 1359 DH to 1466 DH over the same observation period . Thus, 1.14 million withdrawal operations were carried out by these cards for an amount of 1.7 billion DH, an improvement of 4.2% in number and 4.4% in amount.
It is important to underline that the Moroccan cards abroad were also active. The first 3 months of the year resulted in payment transactions of 1.4 billion DH, up 66% compared to the 1er quarter of 2021. Withdrawal operations brought together 180,142 operations for an amount of 335 million dirhams. This is equivalent to an increase of 69% and 62.5% respectively.
While electronic payment activity remains well oriented, the rate of growth of automatic teller machines is slowing down. Only 5 new ATMs were installed on 1er trimester. This brings their number to 7,945, compared to 7,940 in 2021, 7,734 in 2020 and 7,613 in 2019. If we look at creations, 206 ATMs were set up last year, compared to 121 a year earlier and 324 in 2019.