Sat, 24 Feb 2018 09:56:31 +0000
By PRINCE CHIBAWAH
ACCESS to digital financial services (DFS) in Zambia remains largely unexploited yet it remains key to poverty reduction, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has said.
It is estimated that more than half of the population in Zambia has no access to DFS.
UNCDF has however partnered with the private sector to support the Zambian government to expand DFS in the country especially in rural areas.
In a statement obtained by Daily Nation, under its programme, Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P), UNCDF is working with banks, mobile network operators, regulators and users of DFS in challenging markets to help reach millions of additional customers who are currently financially excluded.
In doing so, MM4P hoped to prove that these services can be provided responsibly, at a reasonable cost, by sustainable institutions in a well-regulated environment.
“The most promising development in decades is the innovative use of mobile phones and digital finance as a means to advance financial inclusion,
“Unfortunately, the benefits of this technology are not reaching the poor in least developed countries (LDCs) including Zambia,” it said The UNDCF believed financial inclusion requires involving the entire financial sector to serve low-income and rural households.
“Most people and small businesses in LDCs today do not fully participate in the formal financial system. They transact exclusively in cash, have no safe way to save or invest money, and do not have access to credit beyond informal lenders and personal networks
“While mobile phone usage and internet access have increased rapidly over the last decade, the potential to adopt digital financial services (DFS) remains largely unexploited,” the report said