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Mobile money fraud blamed on ignorance

Post was last updated: May 27, 2020

FUDZULANI—People should be educated

Illiteracy among some Malawians has been blamed for rising cases of mobile money fraud where swindlers are taking advantage of the situation.

This comes as cases of mobile money fraud remains common in some areas where people are duped to reveal security features of their mobile money accounts among other relevant information.

Speaking in an interview Tuesday, ICT Association of Malawi (Ictam) president, Bram Fudzulani, said there is a low literacy level on financial related issues and best approaches to safeguarding mobile money wallets.

He said the lack of knowledge on finacial matters has made some people become susceptible to attacks by digital fraudstars.

“As much as we would have an issue of data protection, but institutions like the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority and mobile money services providers should be able to create awareness on to how consumers can protect their wallets,” Fudzulani said.

RBM Spokesperson, Mbane Ngwira, said the regulator continues to engage mobile money services providers and subscribers to equip them with knowledge on their electronic money safety.

“That is an issue to do with financial literacy. We go around, sensitising stakeholders on how they should protect their accounts and even if you look at mobile money service providers, they also sensitise their customers but it is also on individuals to think on how they can protect themselves,” Ngwira said.

A recent report by RBM shows that number of mobile banking subscribers rose by 7.9 percent in the first quarter of 2020 to 904,737 which also saw the volume and value of mobile banking transactions rising by 18.5 percent and 32.7 percent to 8.4 million and K125.1 billion, respectively.

The report further shows that shows that non-bank mobile money service subscribers grew by 16.9 percent to 7.2 million.

Reduced economic activity in the first three months of the year, however, led to low performance of the national payment system with a recorded slowdown in most of the payment channels.

Despite recording a marginal 0.4 percent increase in processed transactions to 91.5 million in large value and retail payment streams, total value of the transactions decreased by 12.9 percent to K10, 076.0 billion compared to fourth quarter of 2019.

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