BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
ZAMBIA’S digital wallets rose to 1.3 million active accounts in 2018 from 86,066 in 2014, an indication that the country is embracing digital transformation.
This is according to the Bank of Zambia deputy governor for administration, Tukiya Mabula.
Dr Mabula said the number of e-wallets had been on the increase in the last five years.
She was speaking recently in Lusaka during the dissemination of results of baseline survey framework for collection of sex-disaggregated data.
“While the digital wallets increased, the value increased ten-fold in the last five years, to K405.6 million in 2018 from K42.7 million in 2014. It is gratifying here to note that the gap between men and women has been reducing-from 89 percent male dominance in 2014 to 80 percent in 2018,” said Dr Mabula.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank had challenged the financial institutions to innovate gender focused digital financial products that would bridge the increasing gap between men and women.
Dr Mabula observed that most financial institutions had limited or did not have gender focused products differentiation.
She said the limited differentiation by gender was a missed opportunity for financial institutions considering that women were better savers and were less likely to default on their loan repayment.
“Financial institutions should therefore place greater emphasis on segment performance to support individual women and women entrepreneurs who should be assessed as a profitable business proposition, not as corporate social responsibility,” Dr Mabula said
She also explained that collection of sex disaggregated data provided an opportunity for countries to develop policies that specifically targeted women’s financial inclusion.
The main purpose of collecting that data, she said, was to determine the levels of access and quality of financial services.