In a move to set to transition from cash payments towards creating a digital payment ecosystem, the Government of Malawi with the Better Than Cash Alliance and digital payments players in Malawi are discussing a research on the transition from a nearly cash-only economy to a digital payments ecosystem to increase inclusion and end poverty in he country.
The research was conducted through a partnership between the Malawian Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of Malawi, and the Better Than Cash Alliance, and is entitled The Opportunities for Malawi’s Transition Away from Cash.
The report detailed the current state of Malawian digital payments, providing an important baseline to track progress. The study also identified four potential opportunities for Malawi, including the Government advancing on digitizing its centralized payment system with support from banks, and merchants accelerating digital payment acceptance via mobile money and debit card at the point of sale.
“Malawi is moving forward to build a strong digital ecosystem that will respond to the needs of the people in the country,” said Mr. Tillman Bruett, Advisor and Programme Manager, Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) said.
The firm’s expect Malawi to progress from 3.5 percent of total active adult population using digital financial services at the start of this year to 15 percent by 2019. MM4P is providing technical and financial assistance and capacity building to support the switch.
Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director, Better Than Cash Alliance said, “By undertaking this research and by using it to plan its shift, Malawi has taken a bold step in increasing transparency and moving towards an economy where the Government, businesses and people can pay and get paid electronically.”
Transitioning from cash to digital payments is a complex process, however, and requires collaboration between the government and businesses, as well as building trust and increasing familiarity among citizens. That reality is why leading figures came together today to discuss the diagnostic data and develop a blueprint for the country’s digital payments future.