MSB migrates to own EFT

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

After months of preparing ground work the Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) last week finally migrated to its own Electronics Funds Transfer (EFT) switch years after depending on a platform for the service provided by the central bank owned Malawi Switch Centre (Malswitch).

Last month, the state-owned bank announced the completion of the installation of its new EFT and was asking its customers to start applying for new ATM cards.

In the last month announcement the bank touted the initiative as highly advanced.

And indeed for the first time, MSB has become the first bank to launch an ETF that will not only enable the bank to provide cash withdraws through the automated teller machines (ATMs) but it will also allow for ATM deposits.

Until this facility, no bank in Malawi was providing such kind of a facility.

At the launch of the facility, the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Ian Bonongwe acknowledged this specialty: "None of the ATMs we have on the market offer this facility.”

He said that at the moment, if customers in Malawi want to deposit money, then they have to walk into the banking hall.

Initially, the new ATMs that will accept deposits have been installed in five strategic points in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

“All the other ATMs will soon be configured to also accept deposits,” said Bonongwe, who disclosed that overall, the bank has installed 25 new ATMs countrywide.

The bank adds that this platform will drive ATMs and Point of Sale devices and with the implementation of the switch the bank is now issuing new ATM cards branded iCash cards.

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), and the I-Cash silver with a limitation of K70 000 (about $233).

The others are I-Cash gold which has a maximum withdrawal of K100 000 (about $333) while the top most one is called the I-Cash platinum that will allow withdrawal of up to K150 000 (about $500).

Bonongwe said they had increased the number of ATMs to make sure that they cover all the agencies and branches that they are operating in. 

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