Mobile Money for the Poor, a programme of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the UN's capital investment agency, launched the implementation of its Malawi activities to support the development of branchless and mobile banking that reach rural areas and the unbanked.
A full-time mobile banking expert will be based in Blantyre for a minimum period of 1,5 year. He is supported by additional experts on key domains (agent network management, product development, regulation, technical, etc.) who will be called in on a need basis.
With its team, MM4P is supporting several initiatives in Malawi with the aim to extend the outreach of financial services to the unbanked in rural areas and increase knowledge and capacities within the country. MM4P is working in close collaboration with the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) throughout the whole programme. More specifically:
- On June 6th, more than 30 representatives from RBM, banks, microfinance institutions, mobile networks operators and other corporations met to learn from experts and exchange ideas on how to design and implement financial products and services to meet the demand of un(der)banked people in Malawi. At the end of the workshop, the stakeholders were asked to share their findings and to come back with action plans. MM4P will follow-up and provide technical assistance to some of these organizations in the implementation of their strategies.<o:p></o:p>
- <o:p> </o:p>Additionally, some stakeholders willing to play a key role in agency services have been invited to join the Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) initiative aiming at reinforcing practices and expanding agent networks within the country.
- Other players are receiving technical assistance and/or grants from MM4P to launch or expand their agent banking and financial services in rural areas. <o:p></o:p>
The launch of the various initiatives this month in Malawi is the result of the past actions performed by MM4P and is the starting point of continuous presence in the country to support stakeholders in their implementation projects.” reported François Coupienne, Branchless Banking and Mobile Financial Services Specialist at UNCDF.“ <o:p></o:p>
Last year, MM4P conducted a scoping mission in Malawi to understand Branchless Banking and Mobile Financial Services market dynamics and come with recommendations for the development of the sector in Malawi. This was followed by a request of expressions of interest to identify key stakeholders willing to invest in the development of financial services to reach the un(der)banked.
Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) is a global programme funded by UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The programme provides support to branchless and mobile financial services in a select group of LDCs where UNCDF currently operates to demonstrate how the correct mix of financial, technical and policy support can build a robust branchless and mobile financial services ecosystem in LDCs.