Malawi internet banking soars

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

A monthly national payments report by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) shows that the value of transactions of internet banking is soaring as it has moved from US$27 million in January to US$33 million in February, representing a 22.4 percent increase.

This is in line with the increase in the subscriber base for Internet banking in Malawi which has now risen by 4.7 percent to 24, 240 in December 2014 from 23, 162 in the preceding month.

The report says the service has continued to cater for high value transactions as the average value per transaction increased from K648 860.98 to K800 945.90 over the same period.

The report predicts that this increase will now tremendously improve with the launch of National Switch (Nat Switch) last month which is a shared switch platform for all commercial banks in Malawi.

The Nat Switch will interconnect banking operations and financial transactions through automated teller machines (ATMs), point of sale (POS) devices, mobile banking, e-banking transactions, Visa and MasterCard gateway and other over-the-counter transactions.

This is under the part of the World Bank five-year loan amounting to $28.2 million under the Financial Sector Technical Assistance Project (Fstap).

In the total transaction volume, Internet banking registered a 19.8 percent increase to 276, 752 in 2014 from 230, 954 in 2013 while the total transaction value increased by 67.3 percent to K128.5 billion from K76.8 billion over the same period.

“Total volume of transactions for bank-led mobile payments increased by 48 percent to K1 million in December 2014 from K678 040 in November 2014 and the transaction value rose by 55.6 percent to K2.8 billion from K1.8 billion over the period,” the report says.

The monthly report also says the bank-led increase in mobile banking activity reflects the growing popularity of the service among existing subscribers, especially for utility bill payments.

“The average daily transaction volume processed by the domestic payments system rose by nine percent in December 2014 to K201 728 from K185 128 the previous month although corresponding daily average value declined by 22.9 percent to K34.7 billion from K45 billion, reflecting seasonal factors,” it says.


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