Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) plans to roll out a mobile trading platform next year as means to reach out to more people in the country with financial services.
MSE chief executive officer John Kamanga said in an interview that the local shares market is trying to advance the country’s financial inclusion agenda by ensuring that it reaches out to more people.
Kamanga said through the platform, the MSE will be able to access people from remote areas, as long as they have a network without, necessarily visiting the stock exchange or brokers.
“What will happen is that, with their mobiles, people will be able to invest and buy securities on the stock market.
“This has already proven viable with evidence from the Airtel listing where investors were able to make transactions in line with the listing through their phones,” he said.
He said the market wants people left out in investment opportunities because they live far from towns incorporated into the country’s financial agenda.
This far, according to Kamanga, the MSE has sent proposals to various stakeholders, including the Reserve Bank of Malawi which he said is willing to support the initiative financially.
He said: “There are certain aspects which have already started being enhanced under the central securities depository (CSD), where the investing community will receive information through their handsets. This is a step towards mobile trading and now we will be going into the end trading engine for the investing community to participate in the stock market.”
Bridgepath Capital Limited chief executive officer Emmanuel Chokani said in an interview the initiative would help to reach out to more people to invest in the market given that more people have access to mobile phones.
“With mobile phones, information reaches people much more quickly. This, therefore, would give room to more people to access financial services. It is a good initiative and we are patiently waiting to see its roll out,” he said.
A recent Financial Access Survey by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated that mobile money usage has had a profound impact on the way people access finance in Malawi and other countries within the region where banking penetration is minimal.
The survey showed that mobile money agents’ growth far exceeds the growth in traditional financial access points such as bank branches in rural areas as the number of commercial bank branches per square kilometre remained less than two, the number of mobile money agents per square km increased from 18 to 27.
Presently, government, through the Financial Sector Development Strategy II, is targeting over 70 percent of Malawians accessing financial services, of which 20 percent accessing formal credit by 2021 from the current 34 percent.
With the strategy, government believes that inclusive finance will be essential for meeting the objectives of its development strategies.