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Banks extend to untapped market

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Philip Madinga

Commercial banks in the country have taken a step to cover the untapped segment of the market, both in remote and urban areas, using technology.

The move is in a bid to complement the national financial inclusion drive.

Lately, commercial banks have been introducing innovations, with First Capital Bank unveiling WhatsApp banking, Standard Bank introducing Unayo and NBS Bank having EazyBank reloaded.

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These allow customers to transact easily and access services such as saving, sending and receiving money and bills payment.

NBS Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Tamanda Longwe said their digital banking was revamped to cover everyone including those who do not have an account with the bank or stay in remote areas.

“An NBS account holder sends money to a phone number and this automatically creates a wallet for the recipient, who can then carry out a range of transactions,” she said.

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Speaking during Standard Bank’s Unayo launch, the bank’s chief executive Phillip Madinga said, through Unayo, the bank is moving to address key economic issues and contribute towards financial inclusion.

According to the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) National Payment Systems report, the number of registered subscribers for non-bank mobile money services was at 9.3 million in the second quarter of 2021 while that of mobile banking subscribers was at 1.12 million during the period.

RBM Deputy Governor Grant Kabango has since applauded the innovations, adding that the central bank sees new innovations on the market as enablers to improve financial access and experience by Malawians.

“The central bank places a lot of interest on issues around financial inclusion. We believe that every Malawian must have an opportunity to access quality banking and financial services from wherever they are,” Kabango said.

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