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Malawi below regional level in digital payments

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A recent report by the Reserve Bank of Malawi has shown that Malawi ranks below the Sub-Saharan Africa regional average in as far as the use of digital retail payments are concerned.

This means that the majority of the people in the country still use cash when making payments.

According to the December 2015 National Payment Systems Report by RBM,the supply side of digital retail payments was stable in terms of system availability in 2015.

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However, the report states that demand as measured by usage was relatively low when compared to other low income countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

RBM, however, says significant progress has been made in the implementation of supporting infrastructure such as the automated transfer system and national switch.

“With such infrastructure, the country is on the right track to achieve a demonstrable increase in uptake and usage of digital financial services in the coming few months,” reads the report in part.

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RBM further said non-bank led mobile money transactions and subscriberbase increased at a slower pace in November 2015.

According to the central bank, the total number of subscribers increased by 3.1 percent to 2.2 million whereas the volume and value of transactions rose by 0.8 percent and 9.2 percent to 4.45 million and K16.1 billion, respectively.

On bank-led mobile payments schemes, the total volume and value of bank-led mobile payment transactions rebounded in November 2015 from a weak position in October.

“The total volume increased by 14 percent to 1.3 million while the corresponding value surged by 13 percent to K5.7 billion. The subscriber base rose marginally by 1.3 percent to 463,566,” says RBM.

Internet banking also registered strong resurgence in the total number of transaction volume, value as well as subscriber base in November 2015. The subscriber base grew by 45 percent to 49,062 whereas the volume and value of transactions increased by 9.4 percent and 18.2 percent to 57,199 and K30.6 billion, respectively.

On the use of automated tailor machines (ATMs), RBM says total cashwithdrawals through ATMs linked to the National Switch rose significantly in December 2015.

The volumes of withdrawals increased by 67.1 percent to 107,612 whereas the value grew by 79.3 percent to K1.9 billion. The outturn reflects growing public confidence in the National Switch which facilities interoperability of ATMs.

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