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All but one bank now on Natswitch

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The Reserve Bank of Malawi says Malawians can now withdrawal money from almost any auto-teller machines regardless of their bank as all commercial banks – except New Finance Bank, have now been interconnected through the National Switch Centre (Natswitch).

According to the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), New Finance Bank will be connected to Natswitch by June 1, 2016. Natswitch was establishment by the Malawi government and the Bankers Association of Malawi with funding from the World Bank under the Financial Sector Technical Assistance Project to, among other things, ease access to payment services by account holders and to accelerate Malawi government’s financial inclusion strategy.

RBM says in a statement issued this week that all ATM machines were interconnected as at February 9, 2016 and that commercial banks are charging different fees for its customers to access services from other banks.

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While customers of FMB, CDH, OIBM, Indebank, FDH, MSB, NBS and Ecobank are being asked to pay K120 per cash withdrawal using another bank’s ATM, Standard Bank is charging its customers K288 while Nedbank has pegged its price at K350 per transaction.

Customers of National Bank of Malawi pay K120 per cash withdrawal for accessing ATMs belonging to MSB, OIBM and Indebank but pay K187.50 for accessing services of the other banks.

RBM says in a bid to reduce reliance on cash as a means of payment, the next stage of the National Switch will be to enable interoperability of POS devices of all banks in the country.

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“Card users are further advised that use of any POS for purchase of goods and services does not attract transaction fees,” said RBM in the statement.

The central bank has since called on the business community to embrace the new technology by receiving payments from their customers for purchases of goods and services through electronic means other than cash

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