Mali - Country Commercial Guide
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Mali is a cash economy. A majority of Mali’s commerce is informal, and transactions are mostly completed with cash.  Most products in Mali are sold through brick-and-mortar retail.  eCommerce has yet to be widely developed in Mali as internet penetration remains low, but use of mobile payment apps is widespread and growing fast.  The UNCTAD eCommerce Index for 2020 ranks Mali 142nd out of 152 countries and shows that only 13 percent of Malians use internet and only 35 percent have a bank account.  The Government of Mali has a Ministry of Digital Economy as well as a Regulatory Authority for Telecommunication and Postal Services and an authority in charge of protecting personal data.  Mali’s Unit for Business Reform (CTRCA) coordinates business climate reform efforts, including those related to intellectual property, personal data, and other relevant eCommerce issues.  Despite high-speed internet penetration in major cities, eCommerce remains marginal in Mali.  Domestic eCommerce and cross-border eCommerce between businesses and consumers are insignificant in Mali where only a limited number of consumers have recourse to major international eCommerce companies.  Business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce is not common in Mali due to the perceived risks, including concerns about quality of products and about online payment.  Social media platforms can facilitate B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) connections through advertisements.  Malian businesspeople often cite lack of access to finance as a key challenge to importing large quantities of goods from the international market.