LISTEN NOW: Developments within the African Mobile Money Market, Focusing on Malawi


Author: Sarah Corley

A case study on Malawi features as part of DFI’s Leading Digital Money Markets course, but over the last four years significant changes and successes have been achieved. This webinar, featuring Chikhu Mphatso, General Manager of TMN Mpamba, gives an overview of the developments and ecosystem.


Changes that have occurred in Malawi since the case study include:

  • Introduction of a National ID (paper-based presently but plans to move to digital), this has allowed the for mandatory SIM registration
  • E-Money regulation issued on 1 July 2019, which allows for interest to be paid to active mobile money customers based on the money held in trust accounts
  • At the end of 2018 a Directive was issued for the de-linking of GSM and money issuer. Mpamba is now a subsidiary of TNM. Kenya and Lesotho are also considering. Mpamba currently has a no objection letter from the Central Bank but is applying for a licence
  • Mobile money providers are governed by the Central Bank and the E-Money regulations, possible due to this de-linking
  • The ecosystem has increased with new players, some from outside of Malawi as well. There are Mpamba, Airtel Money and Zoona in the mobile money space
  • The customer base has grown to more than 6 million subscribers, of which 49% are active within 90 days
  • There are 45,000 agents across Malawi
  • The proposed 1% tax on mobile money transactions was rescinded from the budget after discussions between key stakeholders

Gavin sums up the webinar by being impressed how there is a symbiotic relationship between Telcos, Mobile Money Providers and the Regulators, and it is good to see stakeholders pulling together to allow these achievements to be made.