Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has related the increase in usage in both volume and value of transactions from various payment systems in April this year as a reflection of a gradual migration of customers from usage of cash and other paper based instruments to electronic payment instruments.
In its April National Payment System (NPS) Report, the central bank says the Malawi Interbank Transfers and Settlement System (MITASS), which is the country’s core payment system, remained stable in the period under review.
According to the report, the development resulted in smooth payment, clearing and settlement processes for interbank financial transactions underpinning, among others, both monetary policy and financial stability initiatives in the economy.
Along with the development, total daily average volume of MITASS transactions registered a significant increase of 33.2 percent to 23 516 mainly on account of a 51.8 percent increase in electronic funds transfer (EFTs) transactions.
Similarly, daily average volume of cheque and large value transactions rose by 5.1 percent and 2.5 percent to 6 611 and 711 respectively.
On the other hand, the corresponding total daily average value of MITASS transactions rose marginally by 3.6 percent to K69 million during the same period largely due to the relative increase in the daily average value of EFT transactions at 41.2 percent and large value transactions at 3.7 percent.
The total daily average volume of retail electronic payment transactions also increased by 5.9 percent to 429 821 in the review period.
According to the report, the increase was more pronounced in internet banking and bank-led mobile payments which rose by 57.1percent and 17.1 percent to 1 972 and 50 753, respectively.
The central bank has expressed optimism that the country is on the right track to achieve a demonstrable increase in uptake and usage of digital financial services on the back of notable progress made in implementing digital retail payment supporting infrastructure that are being put in place.
RBM spokesperson Mbane Ngwira is on record saying the central bank in collaboration with key stakeholders working through the National Taskforce on Electronic Payments (NTEP) shall continue to put in place measures designed to accelerate uptake of electronic payments in the country.
Meanwhile, a sensitisation campaign led by the Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and community development to raise awareness on the benefits of adopting and using electronic payments for goods and services in the economy is under way.