Malawi Savings Bank (MSB), a wholly-owned government firm, on Thursday migrated from Malawi Switch (Malswitch) to its own Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) switch.
This means that the old Malswitch cards the bankâ€™s customers have been using all along are no longer in use effective on Thursday.
The launch of ETF has enabled the financial institution to bring in automated teller machines (ATMs) that will not only allow for cash withdraws, but also accept deposits.
“None of the ATMs we have on the market offer this facility. At the moment, if you want to deposit money, you have to walk into the banking hall,” said the bankâ€™s chief executive officer, Ian Bonongwe, on Thursday at the bankâ€™s head office in Blantyre.
He said the bank has installed the new ATMs [with the facility to accept deposits] in five strategic points in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, adding all the other ATMs will soon be configured to also accept deposits.
But on the overall, Bonongwe said the bank has installed 25 new ATMs countrywide under their new platform and that more will also be installed.
He called on all the bankâ€™s customers to visit their banks to register, apply and acquire new cards that will operate on the ETF to avoid being inconvenienced.
Under the new switch, the bank has introduced four cards, namely; I-Cash classic to allow a customer withdraw up to K50 000 (about $166), I-Cash silver with a limitation of K70 000 (about $233), I-Cash gold with a maximum withdrawal of K100 000 (about $333) and I-Cash platinum that will allow withdrawal of up to K150 000 (about $500).
Added Bonongwe: “We have increased the number of ATMs to make sure that we cover all the agencies and branches that we are operating in.”
He touted the bank for being the first to introduce ATMs to people of Nsanje, the southern tip district of Malawi.
This is the first phase of the project and the second phase to rollout shortly, will enable the bankâ€™s customers use Visa master cards, pay bills to utility companies and transact internationally by way of transferring funds through Western Unionâ€”the worldwide renowned money transfer facility.
“We are living in a competitive world and we are investing in the new technology to improve our service delivery,” he said, stressing that the new switch will see the bank doing away with congestion in banking halls.
The bank on Thursday also launched a mobile van to enable the bank reach out to the remotest parts of the country as part of financial inclusion.