The future of digital payments in post-COVID Mauritius:
In Mauritius, the shift to digital payments increased during the COVID-19 outbreak. This has accelerated the digital payment business to an unprecedented level. There is an increase in the use of online and mobile banking platforms, mobile wallets. To offer contactless payment services, banks have introduced new payment platforms such as SBM Easy Pay, MCB JuicePro, and my.t.
Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd., which is investing in the promising upgrade and point of sale, is raising the non-contact limit to MUR 2,500. They see a fourfold increase in contactless transactions and a growth of more than 50% during the pandemic. During the block, payments through mobile channels increased by 200%.
The Bank of Mauritius (BOM) has also seen a significant increase in the number of transactions processed on its systems during the pandemic. As the BOM builds the ecosystem, while other countries begin to consider central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), even for cheap transactions, the BOM is exploring the possibility of creating a CBDC.
As the COVID landscape evolves, its impact on the behavior and expectations of customers and companies becomes clearer. To support the recovery and adapt to the new norm, the digital payments ecosystem will rapidly evolve and help shape the post-COVID era.
Fundamentals of the way forward
• Banks now offer exemptions for digital payments and cash withdrawals at third-party ATMs
• Central banks offer a moratorium on loan and credit card rates
• Immediate financial assistance is provided by the government through direct transfer of benefits (DBT)
• Increase in EMI converted transactions due to delay
• More contactless payments, SMS link-based payments, and portable items
• Inform the client about the fight against money laundering or fraud
• The issue of the virtual card and its use has been raised
• Larger online presence of small and medium-sized companies
• Contactless processing and credit card issuance
• The acceptance of digital payments has increasingly seen a change in the behavior of consumers
• Omnichannel banking solutions offered by banks and financial institutions
Recent budget announcements have highlighted the government’s initiative to create CBDC through the Bank of Mauritius as one of the key products to boost the digital financial services sector in the country.
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