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Mauritius Country Report

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  • Published Date: December 2016

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Mauritius.


  • The small island republic of Mauritius is now classed as an upper-middle-income country. This World Bank classification follows continued economic progress – by the end of 2015, GDP per capita stood at $8,642.
  • As of mid-2015, 16 banks issued payment cards, while 17 banks offered internet banking. Three mobile money deployments were in operation at the end of 2015.
  • This average total debt per household has increased from $3,420 in 2010 to an estimated $6,280 in 2016, which represents an increase of 83.6 per cent.
  • Mauritius is one of Africa's most advanced cards markets, with an estimated 1.7 cards in issue per adult at the end of 2016.
  • The credit cards market is competitive. Issuers are struggling to differentiate their standard and gold card offerings: banks are now concentrating on platinum cards to win over consumers.
  • The credit cards market is a profitable one, with pre-tax profits for all of the years under review. Lafferty estimates that industry-wide profits in 2016 will reach $22 million.
  • Credit cards are issued on four networks in Mauritius: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and UnionPay. Visa is the leading network, with an estimated 55 per cent of cards in issue at the end of 2016.
  • The Mauritian debit card space is notable for being the first market in Africa to launch UnionPay debit cards. Issued by the second-largest issuer State Bank of Mauritius (SBM), UnionPay debit cards were first launched in 2014.
  • The dominant banks' issuers are Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) and SBM with market shares of 37 per cent and 24 per cent of credit cards in issue respectively.
  • The leading issuing banks in Mauritius also dominate the merchant acquiring sector.

Mauritius Payments Research | Report Contents

The economy
Retail banking
Consumer finance market
Cards market
Profit pool
Pricing and enhancements
The networks: credit cards
The networks: debit cards
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
  • Mobile money 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: 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 acquiring 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

Mauritius Country Report | Selected Extracts

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.

Retail Banking
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.

Cards market
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.

Profit Pool
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.

Card Networks:
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.

Online Acquiring
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.


Verisk 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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