Tunisia: COVID-19 - Tunisia Has Lost 2 Years of Growth in E-Banking

Tunis/Tunisia — The Covid-19 pandemic has cost Tunisia two years of growth in terms of e-banking to reach the 2018 level, reveals a study conducted by Monétique Tunisie on the impact on withdrawals, PTs and e-commerce in Tunisia during the period March-May 2020.

Thus, the volume of electronic banking transactions reached 2.9 billion dinars, during the lock-down, almost the same level of the period from March to May 2018 (2.8 billion dinars), while the expected figure was 4 billion dinars.

According to this study conducted in collaboration with the consulting firm Quantylix and forwarded on Thursday to TAP, this health crisis has led to a decline of about 40% of bank withdrawals, with a strong affluence during the week preceding the lock-down.

Besides, a change in behaviour in terms of withdrawals following the suppression of interchange fees has been recorded, said the same source, pointing out that this measure has prompted Tunisians to no longer favour withdrawals from their banks' ATMs.

A significant slowdown in local payment activity (on TPs) was also recorded, with a drop of around 75%, a return to the 2016 level, despite the incentive measures, namely the abolition of commissions paid by merchants for purchases below 100 Dinars.

Regarding e-commerce, the study revealed a relative stability in this sector despite the perception of a change in the behaviour of Tunisians who favour online shopping.

In reality, there has been a substitution between the tourism sector (air transport/hotel/travel agencies), which has suffered a sharp decline, and other activities, mainly telephone recharging and bill payments.

Monétique Tunisie Managing Director Khaled Bettaieb said that this study will serve as a basis for further analysis in order to better predict the recovery and the avenues to be considered in order to speed up the growth of the electronic banking sector, vital to Decashing and value creation in the digital age.

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