CUTS submission to the Zambian Parliamentary Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour matters
CUTS SUBMISSION TO PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL ECONOMY, TRADE AND LABOUR MATTERS
TOPIC: FINANCIAL INCLUSION VIS-À-VIS THE USE OF DIGITAL PAYMENT PLATFORMS IN ZAMBIA
The Consumer Unity Trust Society – CUTS Lusaka this morning appeared before a parliamentary committee to make a submission on Financial Inclusion Vis-à-vis the Use of Digital Payment Platforms in Zambia, the team lead by CUTS Center Coordinator Ms Chenai Mukumba appeared before the committee chaired by MP Liuwa Constituency Hon Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane at 10:15 today Wednesday 15th January 2020.
Find below a summary of the submission that was presented by CUTS Research Assistant Mr Aquila Stresemann Ng’onga;
The role of financial inclusion in realising economic progression cannot be over emphasized. Over the years, digital payment platforms and in particular, mobile money, which is the focus of this analysis, have become popular in the nation and proven to be reliable in driving financial inclusion.
Mobile money has proved to be a driver of financial inclusion which in turn is beneficial to socio-economic development. It is a source of employment. Between 2015 and 2017, the number of active mobile money agents in Zambia is reported to have doubled, from 3,225 to 6,590. This indicated that mobile money has been increasing employment for the people of Zambia. Mobile money can also drive poverty alleviation. When more people get access to mobile money services, they will save more, invest more and generally improve their financial behaviour which in turn will drive consumption and lift people out of poverty.
By lowering costs of transactions, enabling convenience of paying bills and making purchases from a mobile phone, mobile money can increase economic activity. With costs lower, in relation to those in the traditional banking sector, people are encouraged to transact further and money is allowed to multiply.
In securing digital transactions, E-money institutions need to invest more in security. They need to be constantly upgrading existing security measures. E-money institutions also need to continue working closely with local law enforcement bodies like ZICTA and the police service to monitor any acts of fraud. E-money institutions and ZICTA should continue to spread awareness about online fraud management so that new users are not left behind.
Mobile money can also be looked at as a contributor to addressing inequality. Women and vulnerable people can be deliberately targeted to make the largest share of the mobile agent population. Recruiting more mobile agents will play a great role in ensuring that more unbanked people are financially included. More E-money institutions should be encouraged to enter the market so as to increase competition which will in turn result in quality service rendering and lastly, consumer protection and satisfaction should be a priority even as the goal is to have a completely financially inclusive society.
Kindly quote Aquila Stresemann Ng’onga, Research Assistant, Consumer Unity and Trust Society
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