Morocco receives over $7 billion each year from countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium. The top remittance corridors are France-Morocco, Spain-Morocco and Italy-Morocco. Combined, these three corridors contribute over 70% of the inflows into the North African country.
In France, Moroccans are the second-largest non-EU immigrant population after Algeria at 755,400 people. Some of the Moroccans have obtained citizenship while others are on work permit. In 2018 alone, between 300,000 and 400,000 Moroccans were given visas by the French Ministry of Interior and that of Foreign Affairs.
Generally, Moroccans leave their country for different reasons. Some travel out in search of economic opportunities, others to pursue higher education, while some relocate with their families and gain nationalities of other countries. Whatever the case, Moroccans at one point or the other send money home for several reasons.
This guide explores the different channels Moroccans can use to send money to their home country, what they need to send the money and how the recipients can access the transfers made. It also looks at the factors to consider when sending money to Morocco.
Sending money to Morocco is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.
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There are three main ways of sending money to Morocco. You can transfer from your bank account directly to the recipient account, use an online money transfer service provider or transfer in-person at an agent location.
Moroccans abroad use banks such as Attijariwafa Bank, Banque Populaire, and Chaabi International bank to send money home. The advantage with these banks is that they have branches in Morocco making it easier and faster to send money. Over 62% of the immigrants make their transfer through Moroccan banks.
To make an interbank transfer, you need to fill in a form either physically or online, specify the amount you want to send, the beneficiary’s account number including the 24 characters RIB code, and swift code.
Some of the banks like Banque Populaire allows for internet-based transfers and cash transfers to the recipient. One of the disadvantages of interbank transfers is that they offer much lower rates and at times the transfer fees are higher. People without bank accounts may find it difficult if not impossible to send money through the banking system.
Depending on the transfer corridor, you’ll find online money transfer providers such as Xendpay, WorldRemit, TransferWise, Paytop, and Xoom. These providers can help you send your transfer faster, simpler, and at lower fees compared to mainstream banks. For instance, WorldRemit can take minutes or a few hours to deliver your transfer. For instance, sending 1000 GBP can cost you just 4.99 GBP.
TransferWise costs you 11.56 GBP to send 1000 GBP to Morocco, but it never charges you any exchange rate margin. All transfers are done at the mid-market rate. Depending on the provider you choose, you can pay for your transfer using a debit or credit card or bank transfer. Payout options include:
Most online transfer providers have linked up with banks and independent agents to serve as cash pickup points. Xoom has 5973 locations in Morocco thanks to its partnership with Banque Centrale Populaire, Chaabi Cash – Maroc Traitement de Transactions SA, Cash Plus, Canal M (MEA), and Wafa Cash.
For the mobile airtime reload, participating carriers include Orange, Maroc Telecom and Inwi. The airtime recharge is instant and the recipient gets an SMS notification.
To use online money transfer services, you need to open an account. This is an activity that takes minutes or a couple of hours. Thereafter, pay for your transfer and send.
Money transfer operators such as Western Union, Ria, MoneyGram, Xpress Money, Sigue Money Transfers, and Moneyglobe require that you send money through a physical store. Some of them have mobile apps with a store locator functionality. Dahabshiil is one of the popular agent-based money transfer operators Moroccans use to send money home.
While operators like Western Union have extensive sending disbursing network coverage, their exchange rates can be very low. For instance, when you send 500 EUR from Italy to Morocco, Western Union charges an exchange rate margin of 8.876% while WorldRemit charges you only 3.3%
Both Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to begin your transfer online and complete it at your preferred store. This convenience means that you don’t have to pay for the transfer online.
Irrespective of the country you are transferring money from, there is some information and documentation you’ll need. The information may differ from one provider to another but generally, you need the following:
Going forward, you may not need all this information because the system captures and stores it for subsequent transactions.
There are two main ways you can receive a transfer in Morocco:
Cash Pickup-If the provider supports transfers to agent locations, cash pickups are much quicker. Ensure you find out if the provider has an agent close to you before giving a nod. Some banks such as Banque Centrale Populaire and Chaabi Bank also operate as cash pickup locations.
Bank Deposits – If you have a bank account, you can opt for direct-to-bank deposits. It is a secure way of receiving large sums of money in Morocco. All major banks in the country can receive transfers from money transfer operators. Some of the popular banks include Al Barid Bank, Attijariwafa Bank, Banque Populaire du Maroc (BCP), BMCE, BMCI, Credit Agricole du Maroc (CAM), Crédit du Maroc, Crédit Immobilier et Hôtelier, and Societé Générale Maroc.
When the money is deposited in your bank account, you don’t have to provide any information. However, for cash pickups you’ll have to provide the following details:
In some cases, the provider may ask you to fill in a form or simply provide the details of the sender and the reason for the transfer. This process is normally part of the global anti-money laundering (AML) controls.
Over 60% of Moroccans living abroad transfer close to a quarter of their earnings home. Another 30% transfer a third of their incomes into the country. So, the question is, what are the common reasons for these inflows?
Close to 84% of the investments by Moroccans in their country are in real estate.
In July and August, months that coincide with the holiday season for Moroccans living abroad, there is normally an inflow of gifts including small equipment and motor vehicle spare parts.
During Eid and other religious festivals, inflows to Morocco increase. Some of the remittances are to religious communities, others to local communities and immigrants in Morocco.
In areas such as the Rif region, diaspora remittances have spurred business activities including the establishment of small-sized enterprises that support the local community. The businesses range from taxis to small coffee shops and hotels.
Some of the inflows into Morocco have been directed into household consumptions. There are immigrant families that depend entirely on remittances for survival.
Compared to banks and informal money remittance providers, money transfer services come with lots of benefits. Below is a summary of the reason why you should think of using a money transfer service provider for your next transfer.
In addition, money transfer providers have security systems in place. For instance, most providers have two-factor authentication (2FA) and Socket Security Layer (SSL) that safeguard transfers and user information from cybercrime.
When making a transfer to Morocco, you need to bear in mind the following factors:
Morocco is largely a free economy save for a few restrictions and currency controls. Transferring money into the country is simple, faster and cheaper because of the country’s relationship with the countries of origin.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Morocco. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.
Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com