Business

‘Financial inclusion drive bears fruits’

The number of bank account holders has doubled in the country within a year, from 1.3 million in January 2018 to 2.6 million, figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) show.

RBM Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, said the increase proves that the financial inclusion agenda is bearing fruits.

He said this on Thursday, on the sidelines of the Digital Financial Services Conference the central bank organised in Mangochi.

Kabambe said this has been attained as a result of improvements in the payments architecture and adoption of enabling legal and regulatory framework among other factors.

The number of subscribers on the non-bank mobile money platforms has also doubled from 3.6 million in 2016 to 7.0 million at the end of June 2019.

Volume of non-bank mobile money transactions has also risen from K87.3 million in 2016 to K122.3 million as at June 2019.

Kabambe, however, said despite Malawi making strides in the uptake of digital financial service, more needs to be done.

“Many paper-based systems are being replaced and that is also changing the business landscape. Malawi can consolidate the gains from various innovations in the digital financial services space and accelerate the shift from manual payment systems such as the use of cash and cheques to electronic-based payments services,” Kabambe said.

He said Malawi has made progress in modernising national payments systems.

Kabambe said the financial sector is leading the way in bridging the digital divide.

While commending strides recorded, consumer rights activist, John Kapito said there was need to iron out technical glitches customers face when accessing services.

“Sometimes people fail to access their money through these digital services because of poor network connectivity. Other than that, it is good that we are making progress,” Kapito said.

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