Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has bemoaned high transaction fees and security lapses on mobile network operators (MNOs), saying the situation is limiting factors to full utilisation of mobile money platforms.
Cama executive director John Kapito said this in an interview in the context of available data from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and MNOs which show that usage of mobile money is largely limited to a few types of transactions among those available on the platform.
He said: “What has been observed on these platforms is their unreliability and that not much has been done to create confidence among traders and consumers.
“There have been concerns regarding the safety of these platforms and those concerns.”
Kapito said “unfair and unrealistic charges” to conduct other transactions on these platforms and the fraudulent acts experienced by consumers, has been a setback for consumers.
“Relevant authorities failing to clarify and explain about the many weaknesses that traders and consumers keep on experiencing key among the fears on these platforms is the issue on hacking or frequent thefts by both outsiders and those inside the very same institutions,” he said.
RBM figures show that despite the significant increase in both the volume and value of mobile money transactions, usage has largely been limited to a few types of transactions among those available on the platforms.
For instance, save for cash in or cash out, transactions on mobile money platforms are dominated by business to business transfers, airtime top-ups and person-to-person transfers, according to the RBM report.
However, the report shows that geographical distribution of the agents remains a challenge as the majority of them are located in urban and semi-urban areas, with rural areas having fewer numbers to serve the huge population.