12 December 2012

Zambia: Be Innovative, Banks Told

THE Government has challenged financial institutions to develop innovative products that will enhance payment systems for farmers in the country.

Deputy Finance Minister Miles Sampa said the financial institutions should be innovative enough and develop products like mobile banking payments for the farmers.

Mr Sampa said Bank of Zambia (BoZ) should ensure that commercial banks next year develop mobile banking facilities for farmers to enhance the payment systems at the Food Reserve Agency.

"It bothers me to see at the moment farmers queuing up for their money when Government released the funds six weeks ago.

"This is the reason why BoZ should ensure that come next year they (banks) introduce innovative products that will be able to pay the farmer through mobile phones," he said.

Mr Sampa said payments should be instant and that it was important for commercial banks to be more innovative and develop mobile products for the farmers.

He noted that a number of Zambians had mobile phones, making it easier to transact through their gadgets.

He said now that the economy had stabilised and was on a path of sustained growth, the challenge for the Government was how well to design sector-specific policies and programmes so as to expand public investment in the sectors.

"There is need to address the current development gaps among the people regardless of their social or economic status and geographical location," he said.

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