Malawi starts planning for shift to digital finance

30 Apr 15

Malawi has met with international experts to devise a plan to accelerate the progress of digital finance in the country, its finance ministry has said.

Malawi as well as companies and international organisations operating, there could see reduced transaction costs, better transparency and more citizens using financial services if there is a shift towards digital payments. It is also hoped that it will help address poverty.

An event organised by the government with the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF), Better Than Cash Alliance and Mobile Money, brought together digital payment experts to prepare a plan for the development of digital finance in the southeast African country.

Poverty-stricken people only used cash, Malawi’s finance ministry said. This reliance on cash was a barrier that needed to be overcome as it made it expensive to provide financial services.

The transition to digital payments is part of efforts to help Malawi achieve its social and economic goals within the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy.

Goodall Gondwe, minister of finance, economic planning and development, said: ‘This is part of our mandate to realise balanced and sustainable economic growth and to reduce poverty.

‘We believe creating an economy where digital payments are widely available is the right path for us to embark on and we are doing so based on sound economic and fiscal policies.’

Mia Seppo, United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, added: ‘The introduction of digitisation is timely as Malawi is currently going through public service reforms that will ensure equitable access to financial and payment services in a manner that is transparent and efficient.’

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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