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Digital payments up in third quarter

Bram Fudzulanio

A National Payment Systems (NPS) report which the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) published on Friday shows an increase in digital payments uptake among Malawians in the third quarter of 2020.

The report indicates that, between July and September 2020, the volume and value of Digital Financial Services (DFS) transactions rose by 30 percent and 30.7 percent to 130.4 million and K2 trillion, respectively.

RBM has attributed the rise to convenience and safety experienced by people when using such platforms compared to cash and other paper-based payment instruments.

“Relative to the corresponding period in 2019, DFS performance shows much higher improvement as the volume and value of transactions processed during the period under review rose by 63.7 percent and 46.1 percent, respectively,” the report reads.

It further says a total volume of 132.2 million transactions were processed in all payment-streams during the third quarter, representing an increase of 30 percent from the second quarter of 2020.

Total value increased by 20.7 percent to K16.1 trillion during the corresponding period.

The report adds that, apart from cash-in and cash-out transactions, a review of data for the period reveals that mobile money platforms are mostly dominated by business-to-business and airtime top-ups in terms of value and volume of transactions, respectively.

In an interview Monday, ICT Association of Malawi President Bram Fudzulani said the change was not surprising.

He attributed it to a directive the central bank gave in April that all players in the financial industry should reduce transaction fees by 40 percent in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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