UnionPay International and Attijariwafa, the largest commercial bank in Morocco, jointly announced the launch of ATM acceptance in Casablanca, with which all their 2,000 ATMs will soon be enabled to accept UnionPay credit and debit cards. This will increase UnionPay’s ATM acceptance coverage in Morocco from 15% to 45%.
Morocco is one of the emerging popular travel destinations. The country offers visa-free access to Chinese citizens since June 2016. This assisted tremendously in attracting more Chinese tourists, and the number of Chinese tourists to Morocco grew by about 600% year-on-year in the first half of this year alone.
Currently, UnionPay cards are accepted at all POS terminals in Morocco, and ATM coverage is increasing rapidly. According to statistics from the Moroccan tourism department, Chinese tourists prefer to use UnionPay cards for shopping, catering, accommodation and entertainment, and more and more local banks and merchants take UnionPay payment as an important service for Chinese customers.
According to the agreement with UnionPay International, Attijariwafa will enable its entire base of 2,000 ATMs to accept UnionPay cards in the next few months. Since these ATMs can easily be found in major cities like Casablanca and Marrakech as well as major tourist attractions, the cooperation will give UnionPay cardholders greater access to cash withdrawals.
Mr Chen Zhi, Vice Chairman of China UnionPay, said, “as more and more young people prefer to go on free-and-independent trips to African countries like Morocco, the demand for cross-border payment is growing rapidly. Therefore, UnionPay will carry out cooperation programmes with major institutions to realize full acceptance of UnionPay cards at ATMs and merchants in Morocco, improving our cardholders’ experiences”. “Meanwhile, to meet customers’ diverse payment needs, we will collaborate with our partners in Morocco in more fields including card issuance, online payment and mobile payment”.
According to Mr Ismail El Filali, Executive Director, Member of the Board of Attijariwafa, UnionPay cards is the first choice of Chinese and Asia-Pacific tourists for payment when visiting Morocco. Our cooperation with UnionPay International not only benefit UnionPay cardholders visiting Morocco, but also help the local merchants attract more customers, and is thus a win-win.
It is currently convenient to use UnionPay cards in 48 African countries. UnionPay is accepted at about 90% of ATMs and merchants in South Africa, and 90% of POS terminals and over 85% of ATMs in Kenya. UnionPay cards are also issued in Mauritius, Kenya, Seychelles and Congo (Kinshasa). And these Africa-issued UnionPay cards are frequently used in over 50 countries and regions.