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‘Malawi far from embracing cashless payments fully’

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By Watipaso Mzungu:

Malawi is far from fully embracing cashless payments for businesses, former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor, Charles Chuka, has said.

Chuka cited challenges facing the economy.

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Chuka was speaking on Thursday during a public lecture organised by Unicaf University titled ‘A Cashless Economy: is Africa and Malawi Ready for It?’

He cited intermittent power supply, high internets rates and high cost of communication and low financial literacy levels among challenges facing the country.

Chuka said Malawians predominantly believe in use of hard cash.

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He, however, said the country has in place a fairly advanced system which could support its migration to a cashless society.

“We just need to ensure that there is access to power, phones and internet connectivity. We also need to ensure that we create more job opportunities and increase people’s chances of raising more income,” Chuka said.

Chuka said farmers needed to have regular incomes so that they become part of the system which is moving to most efficient and safer instruments of payment.

According to the former RBM boss, cash usage in most cashless economies is at around 29 percent.

He said this means people in such countries use electronic payment for almost every transaction.

“By moving to cashless, the government would be able to raise its revenue collection base.

“These systems of payment are really good because they are very efficient, easy to use and anyone who has a phone can use them,” Chuka said.

Unicaf University Vice Chancellor, Joseph Kuthemba Mwale, said the lecture was organised to expose students to the concept of a cashless economy.

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