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Malawi likes mobile money

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Malawi , 27 Jun 2017

Malawi likes mobile money

The uptake and use of mobile money services in Malawi has continued to rise, according to a latest report by the country's Central Bank.

The Reserve Bank of Malawi said in its May 2017 payment systems report that mobile network operator-led payment products have grown much faster than conventional banking facilities.

It also said the number of mobile money agents in the country was higher than any other access points combined.

In the past 90 days, the bank said the number of subscribers for MNO-led payment schemes increased by 1% to reach 3.9 million, while the number of active mobile money subscribers stood at 32.4% of registered users.

Despite the increase in the number of mobile money subscribers, the bank noted a low number of active subscribers which negatively affected the performance of the MNO-led payment schemes during the period under review.

"The volume and value of transactions declined by 0.9% and 7.4% to 9.9 million and K38.5 billion respectively. In this regard, there is need for more awareness initiatives by responsible service providers to influence increased usage by both new and existing subscribers," the report said.

In addition, the report said the National Taskforce on Electronic Payments (NTEP) should continue to focus on all segments of society so that bottlenecks that hinder increased adoption and usage of mobile money services are addressed.

The report named agent distribution as one of the bottlenecks and stated out of a total of 26, 107 registered mobile money agents across the country, only 41.4% were in rural areas as at the end of April, 2017.

Bankers Association of Malawi (BAM) president Lyness Nkungula said the growth in mobile money usage is because the majority of the population is unbanked - only 19% is banked, according to BAM.

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