State-owned Malawi Post Corporations (MPC) is transferring into the country around K1 billion every month from foreign depositors mostly destined for citizens in the remote areas—bringing more of the country’s majority poor closer to financial inclusion.
MPC chief executive officer Andrew Kumbatira said this on Tuesday on the sidelines of a Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) conference on Postal Services Financial Inclusion organised by the Communication Regulators Association for Southern Africa (Crasa) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) underway in Lilongwe.
Kumbatira cited increased services linking Malawi’s Diaspora and locals plus reduced commission fees for remittances as the reason behind the increased volumes of cash wired into the country.
Kumbatira said the corporation was also lining up new innovations to ensure its network of post offices were utilised more in achieving financial inclusion.
“Now with services such as FastCash, Western Union and Mukuru we are able to connect even the most remote areas to financial service. People without bank accounts are able to send and receive money and this is bringing financial inclusion,” said Kumbatira.
Macra board member Sheed Mwale, addressing the conference’s opening earlier, said basic postal financial services had a significant contribution to the global economy.
“For financial inclusion to succeed there is a need to invest in building and supporting the infrastructure that will deliver services to the people in the areas they live,” added Mwale.
Earlier, Universal Postal Union (UPU) regional coordinator Gladys Mutyavaviri said the region should strive to streamline financial inclusion in its objective of providing affordable and efficient universal postal services.
She urged Sadc member States to utilize software developed by UPU’s Postal Technology Centre known as International Financial Service (IFS) which she added was a useful tool for facilitation of electronic money transfer services with the sector.
She said 29 UPU members in the sub-Saharan region have adopted IFS but added that significant investment in infrastructure was required to improve the system.
Meanwhile, the weeklong conference will work towards producing a regional policy on the matter and also map other ways on how the region—one of the poorest in the world—can achieve integration alongside more financial inclusion to uplift millions of its citizenry out of poverty. n