Malawi telcos scrap transaction fees
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Airtel Malawi and Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) have scrapped charges and user fees on personal transfers within the same network for a period of three months.
The companies have confirmed the 100% removal of charges and fees for intra-mobile money transactions – Mpamba to Mpamba for TNM and Airtel Money to Airtel Money, a move that will result in a loss of MWK600-million (ZAR15.5-million) over the period for the two firms.
Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika issued an order at the beginning of April 2020 directing banks and mobile money service providers to reduce fees on all electronic money transactions to promote the use of electronic money services amid the spread of COVID-19.
From Lilongwe, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe reiterated the government’s stance and said the objective is to promote cashless transactions.
Kabambe said the cost of transactions across networks have been reduced from MWK120(ZAR3) to MWK (ZAR0.52) per transaction, with the monies directed towards Natswitch.
Natswitch is the National Switch service which Malawi Government initiated through the Reserve Bank with funding from the World Bank under the Financial Sector Technical Assistance Project.
The Project was established to accelerate the country’s financial inclusion strategy which seeks to have at least 40% of the population included.
Kabambe added that all microfinance institutions and financial cooperatives have also immediately suspended interest and principal repayments for loans by borrowers including pay-roll borrowers on a case-by-case basis
RBM, in conjunction with the Bankers Association of Malawi (BAM), agreed last week to reduce fees and charges related to internet banking, mobile payments and any other related services by 40%.
This covered POS, as well as Visa and Master Card related payments.