MACRA says phasing out physical airtime will boost Malawi’s Forex


By Judgement Katika…….

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has backed its decision to phase out Physical Airtime scratch cards saying it will help in boosting the country’s forex.

MACRA Director General Daud Suleman highlighted this on Tuesday in Lilongwe during the press briefing on the phasing out of physical airtime and data scratch cards in Malawi.

“The Authority has issued out directive, requiring that all licensed operators that are in the business of mobile networks in Malawi should move from providing top-ups from scratch cards to begin using digital means of topping up.

“This is not a brand new mechanism; most of the mobile network operators and mobile internet providers already provide digital top-ups but what we have pushed is for a fast-tracking for full adoption of digital ways and means of transactions,” said Suleman.

He added that the development is part of the government’s initiative to promote digital transactions limit cash usage and promote economic growth.

In his remarks, Airtel Malawi Managing Director Charles Chimoto expressed his excitement for the development, saying this will help to reduce distances for transactions, especially for customers in rural areas.

Kamoto also added that Airtel Malawi has already surpassed 80 percent in terms of usage of digital solutions to recharge airtime and buy bundles and that only seven percent of customers are still using physical airtime and data transactions.

“With the coming in of directive from MACRA, we are putting mechanism to expand further on our agents’ network, especially in rural areas, as well as communicating to customers on what we are going to do so that everyone in the country embraces this digital recharge,” added Kamoto.

The phasing-out process starts on 1 May 2024 and MACRA is expecting that all mobile network operators will fully complete moving away from physical scratch cards to digital top-up platforms by 31 December 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *