The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has extended the moratorium on payment of bank interest, principal on loans and fees levied by mobile network operators (MNOs) to December 2020.
RBM spokesperson Onelie Nkuna said in a written response on Wednesday that the extension has been adopted by commercial banks, microfinance institutions and Airtel Money.
She said: “The agreement was done to ensure that a balance is struck between affordability on the part of the consumer and; hence, increased adoption of digital financial services, but also enable mobile network operators to sustain their operations.
“With regard to mobile network operators, so far, an agreement has been reached with Airtel Money. An agreement with TNM Mpamba has not been reached but we expect to conclude soon.”
In the agreement, Airtel Money has agreed to reduce cashout fees on subscribers.
Airtel Money has also committed to scrap off transaction fees on purchase of electricity units effective September 1.
In a statement, Airtel Money director Polycarp Ndekana said the firm remains committed to increasing financial inclusion.
In mid-April, RBM responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by, among others, announcing measures to mitigate its impact, including moratorium on bank interests and transaction fees levied by MNOs.
Consumers Association of Malawi executive director John Kapito said on Wednesday that due to rising cases of Covid-19 and the financial distress, the country needs a long-term economic strategic policy to address the economic challenges brought by Covid-19.