Digital financial services demand grows by 104% – BOZ

By Staff Reporter

DEMAND for Digital Financial Services (DFS) in Zambia is growing at a very fast rate, Bank of Zambia deputy Governor for Operations Dr Bwalya Ng’andu has observed.

Launching the 2018 state of the DFS industry report in Lusaka yesterday, Dr. Ng’andu noted that there had been an increase of agents dealing in DFS by 104% from about 23,000 in 2017 to 47,000 in 2018.

He said 4.3 million active DFS customer accounts had been opened as at December 2018, representing 89% growth compared to 2.3 million in 2017.

Dr Ng’andu said the report showed the strength of the country’s emerging digital economy and that digital financial services were proving to be an effective tool for achieving the financial inclusion agenda.

“Such technology driven innovations are providing a pathway for uplifting the unbanked and under-served marginalised people across the developing world by providing them with a safe, cheap and convenient means of accessing formal financial services ranging from savings, payments and transfers to credit and insurance,” Ng’andu said.

Speaking at the same event, United Nations Capital Development Fund regional rechnical specialist for mobile money for the poor Nandini Harihareswara revealed that there had been a 69 percent drop in over the counter financial transactions as at 2018.

Harihareswara said that there are currently 272 mobile money deployments available in over 90 countries globally and a 143 million growth in the number of registered customers in the same year.

“About $1.3bn is processed daily in the mobile money industry,” she said.