Malawi gains ground in Fintech adoption
The use of digital financial services has increased in Malawi, according to the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), and reflects the country’s steady progress towards establishing a digital economy.
RBM’s National Payments Systems report shows that the volume of transactions via digital financial services increased by 62.1% to MWK772.7-million during the year ended 31 December 2021, and the total value of transactions increased by 77.5% to MWK101.6-trillion during the same period.
According to the Report, the upsurge in both the value and volume of the transactions is attributed to the growing customer confidence in usage of electronic payment channels.
Research also showed the total number of registered mobile money subscribers increased by 40.6% to 10.1 million and the number of registered mobile money agents rose by 93.2% to 155, 816 during the period under review.
RBM added that the increase in the number of mobile money agents is a positive outcome as it widens the footprint of retail payment services across the country.
However, the report highlighted an area of concern, being the activity rate of subscribers.
The report stated: “Despite the increase in the number of active users, their proportion to the total number of subscribers (activity rate) dropped from 61.4% in 2020 to 56.5% as at December 31, 2021. The drop could partly be attributed to the number of customers that were registered on mobile money platforms as beneficiaries of COVID-19 relief assistance by government and donor agencies and most of these users have since become inactive after the project came to an end.”
ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) president Brian Fudzulani was quoted by the local Times newspaper as saying, "Service providers need to listen to the voice of the people by reducing the transaction costs and work on their agency network. The RBM also needs to level the playing field by opening up the payment industry to allow more players that can bring competition, which automatically drive prices down.”