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Mobile money agents eye Zambia's sparkling opportunity

Mobile money agents eye Zambia's sparkling opportunity

The Bank of Zambia has revealed that Zambia's digital financial services is growing at a faster-than-expected rate with the number of mobile money agents more than doubling in one year.

In its 2018 state of the Zambian digital finance industry report, the bank stated that the number of mobile money agents increased from 23,000 in 2017 to 47,000 as of December 2018.

The bank added that the country now has 4.3 million active digital finance customer accounts compared to 2.3 million in 2017.

Bank of Zambia deputy governor in charge of operations Dr Bwalya Ng'andu attributed the growth in customer accounts to continued partnerships being established between service providers.

Launching the report, Ng'andu said the growth of the country's mobile money services is in line with the government's push for financial inclusion.

He said based on findings of the report, it is clear that the expansion in the number of agent networks will make it possible to reach more people.

The Bank of Zambia is currently working on a project to link up all mobile money service providers in order to reach over 60% unbanked Zambians.

"It's only through forging more commercially viable and sustainable partnerships that we will be able to drive expansion and make more products available and attractive," said Ng'andu.

United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) regional technical specialist Nandini Harihareswara said the country's digital finance market has continued to show positive growth through various indicators.

She said the increase in the number of active digital financial accounts was largely driven by significant growth reported by mobile money service providers.

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