Against the background of a paltry increased uptake in digital financial services, government has urged Malawi to adopt usage of electronic payments to reduce risks of using cash.
According to the national payment system (NPS) report dated December 2016 prepared by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), the overall performance of the digital payment channels continues to register positive movements as the daily average volume as well as value of transactions have continued to increase.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of campaign to enhance use of electronic payments in Lilongwe yesterday, Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development Patricia Kaliati said it is safe to go cashless by using electronic payments.
The campaign, whose slogan is go cashless, use electronic payments, will be undertaken by the ministry and RBM in collaboration with all licensed financial institutions in the country.
In an interview, Kaliati said the campaign aims at creating awareness and direct
engagement with the general public and key stakeholders on electronic payments.
The campaign also aims at advocating the adoption of new technology and creating a cashless society, she said.
Said Kaliati: “This campaign is holistic and inclusive in nature as it will target all classes of people, including students, salaried individuals, minibus operators and vendors.
“It will also target retailers, companies, organisations, government agencies and departments involved in payments and revenue collection.”
The minister said times are changing, and as a nation, there is need to change by embracing emerging technologies for the social and economic development of the country.
RBM deputy governor of economics Naomi Ngwira said cashless transactions are safe because the money is normally in electronic form.
“As RBM, we are trying as much as possible to decongest banks and by increasing cashless transactions not many people will be flocking to banks for their monetary transactions.
“As a country, we are not doing well on the cashless system because less than one percent are using this latest technology,” she said.
Integration of Electronic Payments chairperson Gilford Kadzakumanja said they have engaged various stakeholders, including Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) to help reduce network challenges which can also affect the up scaling of this latest technology.
RBM NPS report shows that overall performance of the digital retail payment channels in 2016 registered positive movements as the daily average volume of transactions has continued to increase on average by 3.3 percent to 419 447 whereas the corresponding daily average value of transactions increased by 16.5 percent.