A new survey by the Financial Scooping (Finscope) has revealed that the uptake of mobile money services in Zambia has increased to 58% in 2020, a significant increase from the 14% recorded in 2015.
The report added that financial inclusion has also increased to 69.4% from 59.3% in 2015.
Despite the prevailing economic challenges facing the country, the report said of the 4 million adults living in urban areas, 83.8% ( 3.6 million) are financially included compared to 2.8 million (representing 56.9%) of the 5 million adults living in rural areas.
The report stated: “The main barriers to achieving higher levels of inclusion included lack of money, low awareness levels and unemployment. These barriers call for heightened interventions in terms of financial education, provisions of infrastructure especially in rural areas, and a general improvement in economic activity.”
The Bank of Zambia deputy governor in-charge of administration Rekha Chifuwe Mhango said financial inclusion is the second pillar of the Bank’s strategic plan (2020-2023) with objectives that are aligned the national financial sector policy and the national financial inclusion strategy.
Mhango said the Bank recognises that an inclusive, well-functioning financial system enables access to a broad range of financial services to SMEs as well as households of all income levels and demographics which in turn contributes to reducing poverty.
“We challenge payment service providers and mobile money operators to design products aimed at attracting the informal market players by taking into account their needs and vulnerabilities,” Mhango added.