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FIA hails stakeholders for collaborating to combat Money Laundering

27 October 2021, Lilongwe

The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) has hailed law enforcement agencies, financial institutions and members of the public for their collaboration in fighting money laundering and other financial crimes in the country.

The remarks were made by the Mrs. Anita Mankhambo, Compliance and Prevention Director for FIA, at a workshop on New Payment Methods taking place from 27th to 28th October at Umodzi Park in Lilongwe.

The workshop is being attended by 50 participants comprising investigators and prosecutors from law enforcement agencies and compliance officers of financial institutions including mobile money operators in the country.

"The Financial Intelligence Authority is glad that over the years people who have engaged in money laundering - whether involving use of New Payment Methods or not - have been identified, investigated, prosecuted and most of them convicted. This is an indication that the war against money laundering and other financial crimes is on the right path in the country. This has only been possible with concerted efforts from the Compliance Officers of the Financial Institutions, the Law Enforcement Agencies (Investigators and Prosecutors) and the general public. This is very commendable, and I would like to urge each one of us to continue collaborating in combating money laundering and other financial crimes in the country," said Mankhambo.

New payment methods in use in Malawi include Internet Banking, Account-to-Account Payments, Mobile Payments, Payment Cards, Prepaid Cards or Credit Cards, and Direct Debit Cards.Mankhambo added that new payment methods have greatly promote financial inclusion in Malawi and across the world and that noted that COVID-19 has further facilitated growth of New Payment Methods such that financial institutions and merchants have promoted measures aimed at reducing face-to-face transactions and contact with payment devices.

"The pandemic necessitated customers to observe social distancing rules and quickly adapt to digital and any contactless payment channel across all the age spectrum. It is not a secret that the new generation likes new technology issues more than the other generations, but COVID-19 has made everyone to start aligning with the new technology especially where payments matters are concerned.

Consequently, the use of the Payment Methods that reduce contact have accelerated in Malawi and around the world from 2019. For instance, in 2019 alone over 50% of all ecommerce transactions in the United Kingdom were completed using a mobile device. In 2020, the average Australian made around 560 electronic transactions, compared with 250 a decade earlier and in the same year 2019 the number of cash transactions per person declined from 320 to about 170, according to published reports. This depicts a major shift towards New Payment Methods across the world. It is therefore an important subject matter to be deliberated on here in Malawi," added Mankhambo.

The workshop has being organised by FIA in conjunction with the Attorney General Alliance Africa (AGA-Africa). You can get more on this in the Speech posted in the Publications Sections of this website or By Clicking here..