Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe says as countries move into the digital space, there is need to adopt digital financial services to save time and reduce risk of money loss.
The governor said this in Mangochi on Thursday when the central bank held a Digital Financial Services Conference aimed at reviewing and consolidating gains in the adoption of digital financial services.
“As we move into the digital era, central banks have realised that the growth of digital financial services is a paramount component of the monetary and financial system of an economy. We are encouraging people to adopt it,” said Kabambe.
He said the transaction cost of using cash, whether by individuals or business entities, is higher than that associated with digital financial services when time and money spent in accessing a bank branch or automated teller machine (ATM) to either deposit or withdrawal money is factored in.
Kabambe observed that cheques have their own challenges, saying commercial banks, corporate institutions and even individuals have lost money to fraudsters.
He, however, it was pleasing that the current statistics show that people have embraced digital banking, indicating that Malawi has seen the number of bank accounts more than doubling within one year from 1.3 million in January 2018 to 2.6 million atthe end of 2018.
Speaking at the same conference, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito urged the central bank to regulate the charges by banks and mobile money players, saying they are preventing people from embracing the digital financial services.
“The world is becoming digital and that calls for individuals to follow suit, but people are reluctant to adopting the same because of the exorbitant charges,” he said.