By HENRY MCHAZIME - 27 June 2008 - 14:04:27
NATIONAL Bank of Malawi Thursday introduced four ranges of Visa debit cards and point of sales device which would facilitate broad scale electronic transactions.
The four Visa cards include Electron, Classic, Gold and Platinum which would be offered according to the income base of customers and will eventually replace the existing ATM card.
The card, would, among other things be used for purchasing goods and services using Point of Sale (POS) terminal displaying the Visa symbol located at designated places.
During a media briefing in Blantyre National Bank Public Relations Manager Annie Magola said customers would benefit a lot from the card.
“No prior loading of the card is required as the transactions will automatically debit your account online and there would be no need to carry cash around and you spend money that you have in your account,” Magola said.
She said introduction of the new products is part of the bank’s five year strategic plan.
“Over the years National Bank of Malawi has embarked on improving all products that we offer including services to match what is in our strategy to be the best in offering banking services,” said Magola.
In his presentation Project Manager for National Bank William Kaunda said apart from offering safe and secured transactions, the new products aim at reducing the cost of managing cash circulation.
“It would be mandatory for us to provide the Electron Visa card to every customer because it would also replace the previous ATM cards but customers would ably acquire products using the Visa cards and also access hard cash on all ATM’s with Visa card symbols,” said Kaunda
National Bank’s Head of Retail Banking Austin Musyani said they would provide point of sale devices to shops, service outlets and merchants across the country to provide a benchmark for the new payment system.
“Cash movement and printing of banknotes is expensive and the Reserve Bank of Malawi has recommended all financial institutions to provide electronic transactions and this would be beneficial not only to National Bank and the customer but the economy in general,” said Musyani.
National Bank says according to its strategy it targets to have a high percentage of electronic transactions by 2011 and an initial investment of K200 million has been pumped into the project.