Launch of Malawi Government Payment Roadmap
The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, in collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s MM4P programme, the Better Than Cash Alliance and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is pleased to inform the general public that it will launch the Malawi Government Payments Roadmap on Thursday, 30th March 2017 at Umodzi Park, Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
As the next step to membership of the Better Than Cash Alliance in 2013, the Government Payments Roadmap is the Malawian Government’s strategic framework for digitizing government payments in Malawi. It sets the main targets for the coming years to improve the accountability, efficiency and transparency of the payments system and advance the national financial inclusion agenda.
Digital financial services (DFS) are widely cited as transformative for financial inclusion and the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In Malawi, where more than 80 percent of the population is rural and approximately 70 percent lives with less than $1.90 a day, the financial inclusion rate is only 18 percent.
However, a shining light has appeared. During the period 2012-2016, active DFS users grew from less than one percent to 15 percent of the adult population. Increased demand and supply of DFS, as well as a good regulation, have been game changers for the digital shift.
In this framework, the Malawi Government Payments Roadmap champions the vision of a country in which:
“Every Malawian is financially resilient. The public and private sectors work together to ensure all Malawians, especially those who live in rural areas, have access to digital financial services that are easily accessible, affordable, reliable, transparent and secure. The Malawi policy, legal and regulatory environment works as an enabler to address payment infrastructure challenges and makes […] [digital finance a] sustainable business to service providers.”
Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) is a programme launched by UNCDF in partnership with the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation. MM4P provides support to digital financial services (DFS) in a selected group of least developed countries (LDCs) to demonstrate how the correct mix of financial, technical and policy support can build a robust DFS ecosystem that reaches low-income people in LDCs.
About the Better Than Cash Alliance
The Better Than Cash Alliance is a partnership of governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth.
Based at the UN, the Alliance has over 50 members, works closely with other global organizations, and is an implementing partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.
The Alliance is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi Foundation, Ford Foundation, MasterCard, Omidyar Network, United States Agency for International Development, and Visa Inc. The United Nations Capital Development Fund serves as the secretariat.
UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs). With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. This last mile is where available resources for development are scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where benefits from national growth tend to leave people excluded.