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TNM bank partnership has Malawi's Mpamba agents worried

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Malawi , 24 Jul 2017

TNM bank partnership has Malawi's Mpamba agents worried

In a move aimed at enhancing financial inclusion in Malawi, mobile phone operator Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) has partnered with First Merchants Bank (FMB) Limited to enable its mobile money customers to withdraw money in their e-wallets from the Bank's ATMs.

This has led to fear the operator may be considering phasing out its Mpamba agents or those dealing directly with its mobile money service.

However, TNM Chief Officer for consumer services Daniel Makata denied this and said, in fact, the intention is to grow its agent base.

Makata said the partnership establishes FMB as one of the channels for the cash out service for TNM mobile money, but that the FMB system does not allow Mpamba customers to also send money.

"This partnership makes financial inclusion universal through a combination of mobile and digital banking as Mpamba customers will now be able to transact even in odd hours when conventional Mpamba street agents and outlets have retired," he said.

FMB head of marketing and communications Sylvia Mataka said the partnership adheres to the Bank's financial inclusion agenda and its network can handle the volume of consumers engaging with the Bank.

"We strongly believe in developing partnerships that enable both our customers and non-customers to take advantage of the technological advancements we have made through provision of various platforms that allow people to transact throughout," Mataka said.

In its May 2017payment systems report, the Reserve Bank of Malawi named agent distribution as one of the bottlenecks hindering the increased adoption and usage of mobile money services in the country.

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