The study analysed the country context, demand, supply and regulatory framework for payment services in order to conclude on the scope for retail payment services to play a transformative financial inclusion role and the market and regulatory challenges to be overcome for that potential to be realised.
The report is part of a series of studies that also covers Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In addition to the individual country report, the findings feed into a regional synthesis report that identifies cross-cutting trends, provides a brief global comparison, and concludes on implications for regional financial integration.
Recommendations and conclusion
Zambia has made remarkable progress towards modernization of its national payment system but there is a long way to go until most of the population can benefit from convenient, accessible and affordable electronic payments. However, efforts to improve the policy framework for payment system development should be prioritized to (i) take advantage of existing market activity and (ii) provide essential regulatory clarity for future development of innovative market solutions by:
- Issuing e-money regulations to set minimum standards for existing businesses and provide certainty for new entrants.
- Creating enabling rules for banks to use agents for the delivery of their services in a cost-effective matter, to expand their footprint outside urban areas and to increase convenience in places where they currently have physical presence.
- Creating effective risk-based supervision practices to support a dynamic and healthy market.
- Improving penalization of fraud in electronic transactions for greater consumer confidence for long-term sustainability.