Briefing Paper

Promoting Mobile Money Use through Training and Text-messages in Malawi

The financial inclusion rate in Malawi is low. In 2017, only 34% of adults had a bank account and only 21% had activated a mobile-money account. In low-income countries like Malawi, mobile money is increasingly promoted as a strategy to increase financial inclusion, which is linked to poverty reduction and improved economic performance. Over the past five years, the Government of Malawi has introduced policies to encourage financial inclusion: the Malawi Financial Sector Development Strategy for 2016-2020 and the 2015 Payment Systems Act. These policies aim to expand the reach of digital payments (including via mobile money), increase savings through savings groups such as Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), and improve levels of financial literacy.