Mobile Money Shields Some Zambians from Coronavirus, Endangers Others
By Prudence Phiri
In a booth at Lusaka’s Soweto Market, Ethel Zimba counts her cash and hands it to Maxwell Mwelya, a mobile money teller.
Behind her, three others wait to do the same.
Mwelya deposits all the cash into their mobile money accounts — digital wallets used to pay bills, shop and buy services. As he serves customers, Mwelya wears a mask and uses hand sanitizer. Mobile money transactions have surged in Zambia since late March, as health officials urged the public to use less cash to reduce their exposure to the coronavirus
Yet many people load their mobile accounts with actual cash deposits. And in doing so, they expose tellers.
Photo courtesy of Kay McGowan / USAID.