Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has commended NBS Bank for introducing a banking facility that targets low-income earners, especially women, saying such groups of people are economic drivers.
Gondwe said this on Wednesday in Blantyre at the launch of the bank’s mobile savings account named Banki Pafupi designed for low-income people in rural areas, especially women with no previous access to a bank account.
“The important element in the growth equation is that a country should be able to mobilise resources from its own borders as growth depends on the country’s own resources, as such, initiatives such as these are a welcome development,” he said.
Gondwe said women play a vital role in the growth of rural areas, commending initiatives aimed at generating savings.
NBS Bank chief executive officer Bernadette Mandoloma said the financial institution developed the product to cater for the low-income population of the country.
“Records indicate that 86 percent of the population is living in the rural areas with only 33 percent of them being banked, we thought of introducing this product to cater for such people,” she said.
Mandoloma said research the bank conducted showed most people were not familiar with banking services and that the cost of banking was high.
savings accounts are opened by the bank’s agents who are working in communities and use mobile technology to set up the accounts quickly.
With the service, customers are able to access banking services such as checking balance, making withdrawals and deposits, among other banking services.