Digital Financial Services Price Transparency and Awareness in Malawi

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While traditionally considered an issue relevant to consumer protection and market conduct, the lack of pricing transparency of digital financial services (DFS) can hinder adoption and usage of digital financial products and services as customers will focus on what they have been ‘traditionally’ accustomed (i.e., cash or the use of alternative rudimentary ways to transfer money). Where consumers have difficulty understanding or accessing the price of products, they are unlikely to use the products and may be restricted in their ability to compare the offers available in the market across various providers. This situation may limit the uptake of DFS if customers (incorrectly) perceive the products as too expensive and could as well result in a lack of competitive pressure on providers to offer value for money and innovative products and services. Price transparency is therefore important for ensuring effective financial inclusion and competition. It is also a basic aspect of most DFS providers’ internal compliance for agents/outlets, so it is critical to understand whether or not relevant rules are being followed.

In Malawi, the Digital Financial Services Coordinating Group (DFSCG) Annual Workplan, developed by MM4P and approved by DFSCG members, included the development of a whitepaper on a topical DFS industry issue. At its Q1-2017 meeting, DFSCG identified the need for transparency and consumer awareness of transaction costs as one of the barriers for adoption of DFS in the country and thus agreed to develop this whitepaper on ‘Digital Financial Services Price Transparency and Awareness in Malawi’.

Document Information

Document Type Paper
Author Nandini Harihareswara; Zerubabel Junior Kwebiiha; Fletcher Chilumpha
Year of Publication 2017
Publisher UN Capital Development Fund
Number of Pages 16 pp.
Region / Country Southern Africa / Malawi
Primary Language English (en)
Keywords digital finance
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