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A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Mauritius.
Mauritius is the leading regional market by the number of POS terminals per 100,000 adults. These figures reinforce the view that both the economy and the banking system of Mauritius are among the most developed – if not the most developed – in Africa.
The prepaid cards market in Mauritius is innovative, featuring the first UnionPay International prepaid card in Africa. Issuers have also issued a number of prepaid cards with EMV functionality.
Mobile financial services are popular in Mauritius. Visa owes its dominant position in the credit cards networks market to its strong relationship with the leading issuers.
Mastercard and Visa dominate the Mauritian debit card space. Mastercard's relationship with leading payment card issuer Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) is the primary reason for its commanding position.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Consumer finance market
Pricing and enhancements
The networks: credit cards
The networks: debit cards
Merchant acquiring and processing
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendix I: Demographics
Appendix II: The economy
Appendix III: Retail banking
Appendix IV: Consumer finance market
Appendix V: Cards market
Appendix VI: E-money
Appendix VII: Profit pool
Appendix VIII: Pricing and enhancements
Appendix IX: The networks: credit cards
Appendix X: The networks: debit cards
Appendix XI: Issuers
Appendix XII: Merchant acquiring and processing
Appendix XIII: Online acquiring
Demographics and Economy
Mauritius is a stable democracy with regular free elections and strong institutions. It has a well-developed infrastructure, and had a median income of $8,544 at the end of 2015, which was one of the highest in the African region.
A total of 23 retail banks were in operation in Mauritius at the end of June 2015. Eight banks were subsidiaries of foreign lenders and four were branches of non-Mauritian banks. Two banks were engaged in private banking while one bank was exclusively dedicated to Islamic banking.
Consumer Finance Market
Consumer credit as a proportion of total private sector credit extended by the retail banking sector hit an all-time high in August 2014 of 30 percent.
The Mauritian credit cards market is competitive. Issuers are struggling to differentiate their standard and gold card offerings. Although debit cards represented an estimated 83.6 percent of all payment cards at the end of 2016, only an estimated 33.1 percent of total POS billed volume was carried out on debit cards
The prepaid cards market in Mauritius is an innovative one, featuring the first UnionPay International prepaid card in Africa. Issuers have also issued a number of prepaid cards with EMV functionality in order for consumers to engage in e-commerce.
The Mauritian credit cards market is a profitable one, with pre-tax profits for all of the years under review. The percentage ratio of credit card outstandings to annual billed volume is relatively low, reaching an estimated 6.4 percent in 2016.
There are four credit card networks on which cards are issued in Mauritius: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and UnionPay International. Visa is the leading network, with an estimated 55 percent of cards in issue at the end of 2016. Mastercard and Visa dominate the Mauritian debit card space with the former having about 60 percent of the cards in issue
Key Retail Banks and Issuers
The dominant banks in the card issuing space are Mauritius Commercial Bank or MCB (with an estimated 37 percent of credit cards in issue in 2016) and the State Bank of Mauritius or SBM (with 24 percent of credit cards in issue).
Acquiring and Processing
The leading issuing banks also dominate merchant acquiring in Mauritius. MCB is the most prominent player, with an estimated 55 percent share of acquired credit card billed volume at the end of 2016. The leading credit card issuers all carry out their own issuing processing in-house.
Some of the most popular international websites used by Mauritians to engage in e commerce include Ebay and Amazon. Popular local websites include Air Mauritius, La Redoute, MariDeal.mu and PriceGuru.mu.
Regulatory and Markets Information
The Bank of Mauritius has been quite proactive in managing the financial architecture that governs banking, cards and payments in Mauritius.
Financial reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in Africa. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and Africa finance experts.
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