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Tunisia Country Report

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  • Published Date: November 2017

TUNISIA CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORT

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Tunisia.
Many Tunisians work and live outside the country. The number of expatriate Tunisians has almost doubled since 2009, and reached two million in 2016. The remittances sent by these expatriate Tunisians constitute a significant part of foreign exchange inflows..
Payment cards in Tunisia are predominantly used at ATMs, accounting for 86 per cent of total card billed volume. Issuers have segmented their customer base into individuals, youths, professionals, Tunisians residing abroad, and the corporate sector.
The majority of prepaid cards are targeted towards the youth segment, while Premium credit cards are targeted at professionals, Tunisians residing abroad and corporate customers. Debit cards are generally targeted at the mass market.

TUNISIA COUNTRY REPORT | KEY FACTS

  • Tunisia had 23 licensed commercial banks at the end of 2016. Total banking assets in Tunisia increased by 10.7 per cent in 2016 to $42.2 billion.
  • Mortgage credit is the largest component of total consumer debt, comprising almost 86 per cent at the end of 2016.
  • Despite rapid growth since 2005, the Tunisian cards market is still under-penetrated with just 51 payment cards per 100 adults in 2016.
  • The Tunisian credit cards market is under-developed, with only about 166,000 credit cards in circulation at the end of 2016 – comprising just five per cent of total payment cards in issue.
  • There were 3.2 million debit cards in circulation at the end of 2016, representing a penetration rate of 37 debit cards per 100 adults.
  • The total profit on credit cards was $3 million in 2016, representing a profit per card of $20. The total profit is expected to reach $9 million by 2020.
  • There were 149,000 Visa credit cards in circulation at the end of 2016 – representing a market share of 90 per cent, with the balance held by Mastercard.
  • Three card schemes are active in the debit cards space: Visa, Mastercard, and the national scheme, CIB.
  • The leading payment cards issuers in Tunisia are BIAT, UIB, Amen Bank and Attijari Bank. The vast majority of the cards issued in the country are EMV compliant.
  • The acquiring business in Tunisia is highly fragmented due to the presence of all major banks in the market. This has led to aggressive pricing strategies, especially with regard to larger merchants.

View the Tunisia Country Report Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Demographics
The economy
Retail banking
Consumer finance market
Cards market
E-money
Profit pool
Pricing and enhancements
The networks: credit cards
The networks: debit cards
Issuers
Merchant acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information

Appendix I: Demographics

  • Population metrics
  • Ownership of key consumer goods
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: The economy

  • Major economic indicators

Appendix III: Retail banking

  • Major retail banking indicators
  • Banking/infrastructure penetration
  • Retail banks key metrics
  • Retail banks profit & loss metrics

Appendix IV: Consumer finance market

  • Consumer credit outstandings and indebtedness
  • Consumer credit outstandings by product

Appendix V: Cards market

  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit card metrics
  • Consumer credit cards metrics
  • Commercial credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability Indicators
  • Debit card numbers
  • Debit cards metrics

Appendix VI: E-money

  • Prepaid/e-money cards metrics

Appendix VII: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VIII: Pricing and enhancements

  • Card pricing and enhancements

Appendix IX: The networks: credit cards

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network

Appendix X: The networks: debit cards

  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network

Appendix XI: Card issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card Issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix XII: Merchant acquirers and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix XIII: Online acquiring

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Tunisia Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
Tunisia is a relatively small country with around 11.2 million inhabitants at the end of 2016. Growth improved marginally during 2016 to reach 1.2 percent, supported by expansion in the chemical industry. Economic growth is expected to increase further.

Retail Banking
Tunisia had 23 licensed commercial banks at the end of 2016. Total banking assets in Tunisia increased from $38.1 billion at the end of 2015 to $42.2 billion in 2016 – an increase of 10.7 percent.

Consumer Finance Market
Mortgage credit is the largest component of total consumer debt, comprising almost 86 percent at the end of 2016. Personal loans are the second-biggest contributor.

Cards market
Tunisia has a cash-based economy, with about 85 percent of transactions being paid for using cash. Nevertheless, the usage of cash and other paper-based instruments (including cheques) are slowing down, with Tunisians increasingly shifting towards electronic payment modes – cards in particular.

E-Money
Considering the high level of mobile phone penetration in the country, improving the mobile financial services landscape could prove a viable option to increase financial inclusion.

Profit Pool
The Tunisian credit cards market is underdeveloped, with only about 166,000 credit cards in circulation at the end of 2016, comprising just four percent of total payment cards in issue.

Card Networks:
Two international brands, Visa and Mastercard, are present in the Tunisian payment cards market. In addition to these international card schemes, banks issue debit cards using the local card scheme, CIB. Three card schemes are active in the debit cards space: Visa, Mastercard, and CIB.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
Although there were 23 retail banks operating in Tunisia at the end of 2016, the top five banks accounted for 46 percent of the country's total banking assets at that time.

Acquiring and Processing
The acquiring business in Tunisia is highly fragmented due to the presence of all major banks in the market. A majority of the private sector commercial banks undertake both issuing and acquiring processing in-house, although a number of different suppliers in Tunisia provide related services.

Online Acquiring
E-commerce in Tunisia is still in its nascent stage; it represented only about 0.16 percent of total retail sales in 2016.

Regulatory and Markets Information
The lack of issuance of payment cards for international use in Tunisia is in part due to restrictions imposed on the movement of foreign currency leaving the country.

MORE AFRICA CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORTS

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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