Malawi’s Central Bank confirms increased consumer confidence in Fintech
The high cost of digital or mobile money-based transactions has not deterred Malawians from making use of Fintech, according to the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
RBM’s National Payment Systems report for the period ended December 2022 showed a 14.1% increase in the number of mobile money subscribers, which stands at 12.2 million, up from 10.7 million in 2021.
The report specified an increase in 90-day active mobile money subscribers to 7.1 million as at December 2022, a jump from 6 million in December 2021.
According to the Bank this reflects greater customer interest in- and adoption of mobile money services.
Research also showed a 56.5% increase in the number of mobile money service agents to 243, 857 in December 2022, up from 155, 816 in 2021.
However, RBM cautioned that while there is progress in both the volume and value of mobile money transactions, use remains limited to specific types of transactions including B2B, P2P, cash-in/cash-out and airtime top up transfers.
The Bank said, “There is need to encourage consumers to embrace mobile money for payments of goods and services.”
Nicholson Kumwenda from local mobile money service provider Kukapay Smart Money said the high cost of transactions must be addressed.
Betchani Tcheleni, an economist from Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences said it does happen that, following a transaction using mobile money or digital wallets, funds are deducted but not transferred to the merchant’s account.
Tcheleni was quoted by the local Times newspaper as saying, “Companies need to build trust and reduce costs … that way, people will not only embrace these means, but also transact in high value.”
Last month RBM introduced an instant electronic money transfer platform through the National Switch (NatSwitch) to fast-track interbank transactions and enable recipients to access funds instantly once a transfer is completed.