World Bank hails financial sector reforms

The World Bank has commended the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) for it modest improvements in the financial sector following efforts aimed at increasing access to finance.

The bank’s country economist Priscilla Kandoole says in the bank’s latest Malawi Economic Report the RBM is developing new instruments intended to strengthen the regulatory framework and to promote financial inclusion.

Kondoole: Raise awareness

“These instruments include e-money regulations and directives on the mandatory use of point-of-sale devices. To that effect, the adoption and usage of digital financial services [DFS] has been increasing steadily, albeit at a slow pace and from a low base,” she says.

According to the RBM’s Monthly National Payments (NPS) Report for May 2018, the number of subscribers to mobile banking schemes increased marginally by only 0.6 percent, with the volume of mobile banking transactions increasing by only one percent.

The report says mobile banking services are mostly used for fund transfers, which accounted for more than 85 percent of the total value services transactions.

In terms of transactions volume, bill payments and airtime purchases dominate, accounting for approximately 80 percent of all transactions.

“There is a need for more innovative product development and for activities to raise awareness to increase and expand the usage of mobile banking services,” she says. 

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