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Malawians duped K120 million monthly through e-cash transfers

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SULEMAN— We have been engaging service providers

By Wezzie Gausi:

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) says about K120 million is stolen monthly from Malawians through mobile money transfer.

Speaking Wednesday at a press conference in Lilongwe, Macra Director General Daud Suleman said the development is shrinking the use of the digital space in cash transactions.

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“The MW [Malawi] 2063 puts much emphasis on information communication technology as crucial in socio-economic growth. And that can only be possible if people are able to use the space freely and without fear.

“What is currently happening with mobile money transfers is a cause for worry. We, as an office, have been engaging service providers such as Airtel, TNM and banks to make sure we rectify the problem as soon as possible,” Suleman said.

Minister of information and Digitalisation Gospel Kazako said the government is committed to improving the digital industry in Malawi.

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He said the government is enhancing the digitalisation policy that seeks to widen people’s access to the internet.

“We, as government, are ready to provide a conducive environment for ICT services as stipulated in MW2063. We are also aware of the numerous challenges that people face [when] using the digital space.

“With the help of Macra, we are sure that all problems will be dealt with. And it is just a plea for people to exercise all caution when doing electronic money transfers,” Kazako said.

Recently, Macra bemoaned the low turn-out of the public in reporting mobile money fraud, which is rampant in the country.

A report by the Reserve Bank of Malawi, which was released last year, shows that the number of mobile banking subscribers rose by 7.9 percent in the first quarter of 2020 to 904,737, which also saw the volume and value of mobile banking transactions rising by 18.5 percent and 32.7 percent to 8.4 million and K125.1 billion, respectively.

The report further shows that the rate of non-bank mobile money service subscribers grew by 16.9 percent to 7.2 million.

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