Zambia was the earliest adopter of digital financial services in Africa and remained a laggard in outreach until the past few years. The market includes MTN, Airtel and Zoona, the latter providing primarily over-the-counter services, as well as several banks and smaller providers that are new entrants to the market.
MM4P has worked in partnership with FSD Zambia since 2015 to increase access and usage of digital wallets in the country, working with the three major providers as well as several banks and other companies. MM4P has worked to address the issues connected to agent management as a way to improve customer service and therefore adoption. Interventions focused on improving agent compensation and liquidity as well as customer engagement. Human-centered design for product development has also been adopted to improve the customer service and better digital savings. Moreover, MM4P has supported the government to develop a roadmap for digitizing payments, and providers to handle bulk payments. Finally, MM4P has helped start and lead a working group focused on identifying and achieving policy and regulatory changes, challenging the sector to serve two underserved groups – young mothers and refugees—, and working to provide the needed data and incentives to prioritize them as customers.
MM4P initiated its work in Zambia in partnership with MasterCard Foundation.