Malawi losing MWK120m monthly to mobile fraud
Malawi is losing approximately MWK120-million monthly to mobile money fraud, according to Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA).
MACRA director general Daud Suleman said the regulator is working with stakeholders to find a solution as quickly as possible as the country continues to experience an uptake in mobile money services.
Suleman said mobile money not only benefits individuals at macro level, but is also a catalyst for economic development.
“Mobile money, in our case, has become the fuel that is driving our digital economy because the uptake has within a short period surpassed what banking has achieved. But at the same time, Malawi is losing huge sums of money a month to mobile money fraud. This is why the Electronic Transaction and Cyber Security Act (is important) …. It creates an environment where, as citizens move to the digital environment, they feel secure and have confidence that their money is safe.”
As at the end of 2021 the number of mobile money subscribers in Malawi surpassed ten million, according to the Bank of Malawi.
The Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) entered the discussion and said while it acknowledged the benefits of digital finance platforms, the issue of mobile money fraud is of growing concern.
CAMA executive director John Kapito said his organisation "has noted with concern the increased cases of fraud on both mobile money and other digital financial platforms and that it require consumers to be equipped with knowledge on how to avoid such negative transactions.”
In March this year, Kapito urged the government to implement strong regulatory systems to ensure that only genuine and traceable businesses transactions are done online with reputable institutions to allow the growth of digital financial technologies that have the potential to increase financial inclusion in the country.