Mapping the retail payment services landscape in Mozambique

This research looks at the issues around the state of retail payment systems development in Mozambique, a country with more than half of its population living in poverty and 78% of the adults being financially excluded.  This report was based on document review, interviews with the regulator and providers, and focus groups and informal discussions in Southern Mozambique from 13-22 September, 2011.

The research points to many challenges ahead of efforts to provide and encourage use of convenient and affordable formal payment services: (i) poor infrastructure to support cash distribution networks; (ii) unreliable electricity services and wireless communications; (ii) limited interoperability amongst banks and also between mobile network operators; (iii) bank perception of underdeveloped local economies in rural areas; and (iv) unfamiliarity with electronic or innovative payments among the poor. The focus by the regulator on the creation of a national switch may be shifting attention from more complex underlying problems.