Mastercard partners with Moroccan fintech NAPs to boost financial inclusion
Mastercard has partnered with Moroccan fintech NAPs to develop new payment solutions.
The Casablanca-based company was the first Moroccan firm given a non-bank institution license in 2012 by the Central Bank of Morocco to provide and process electronic payment instruments.
NAPs, which is a division of M2M Group, offers services such as cards and payment products as well as account management, money transfer, reconciliation, settlement, and dispute resolution. M2M Group provides several biometrics-based solutions, including the MX ID an electronic platform for issuing and managing biometric identity documents.
The companies said the collaboration will improve NAPs’ innovation capabilities via increased access to Mastercard’s technology and improve its time to market for its yet-to-launch digital offerings.
In addition, the companies say they plan to implement new ecosystems of digital services in Morocco, which will boost digital payments and improve user experiences in service of financial inclusion.
These new digital ecosystems will allow for high-value applications and new service opportunities in Morocco according to the companies.
Morocco currently has one of the highest percentages of unbanked people globally, according to World Bank research from 2022, with just 44 percent percent of people having a bank account, which falls to roughly 33 percent for women, one of the lowest rates worldwide.
However, a CGAP report called Fintechs Across the Arab World, issued in December 2020, highlighted Morocco as the third-largest fintech hub among the 22 member countries of the Arab League, pointing to strong mobile coverage and favorable regulation.
Though there was no explicit mention of digital identity or biometric capabilities in the latest Mastercard announcement, it does note that NAPs benefits from M2M Group’s expertise in biometrics. Morocco is also pushing ahead with the addition of digital ID capabilities for its citizens, which could one day be used for financial inclusion.
In May 2022, it became possible for holders of the country’s national electronic identity card (CNIE) to access government services and even personal documents online.
In addition, just last month Morocco World News reported the country’s financial court system was preparing for integration with the country’s national ID system.