Amid declining mail volumes, the Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC) has unveiled plans to venture into transportation and mobile money business to stay afloat and expand its revenue base.
MPC postmaster general Henry Shamu said this in an interview on the sidelines of a familiarisation tour of the institution’s head offices in Blantyre Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Mark Botomani undertook on Wednesday.
He said the money transfer system for mobile banking, dubbed Zapcash, has already been fixed while seven-passenger coaches, with an initial investment of K600 million, are expected start operating mid-September.
He said the mail business has been dropping globally at three percent annually, and that about 40 out of MPC’s 180 post office outlets nationwide are making losses which accounts for over K500 million.
Said Shamu: “We are enhancing the courier business and as part of courier enhancement, we are introducing a passenger coach service to roll out mid-September, with each bus having a nine-tonne capacity for same-day parcel delivery service. We will also be carrying passengers.
“We are also introducing Zapcash, a mobile money wallet. We think that when the Zapcash takes off, the non-performing outlets, as you know most of our outlets are in the rural areas, will serve as agents.”
On his part, Botomani observed that MPC is facing many challenges due to the development of information and telecommunication technology (ICT).
“Most services that MPC is offering have been overtaken by the development of ICT. Competition is extremely tough but everyone has to survive in business. We are hoping that with a robust commercial directorate that they have, they will soon be on top of their game,” he said.
MPC Workers Union vice-chairperson Amos Stima urged the minister to push for their K400 million unpaid pension arrears which have accumulated for the past two years.
Botomani has since assured MPC employees that he will be engaging with his counterpart Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development to map the way forward on the pension arrears.