Opportunity International is excited to announce that, after several years and many challenges, Opportunity Malawi launched its cell phone banking product, Banki Mmanja, on May 7 in the rural district of Dowa.
In 2007, Opportunity started work on a project that could tap into the country’s huge network of cell phone users and bring the bank directly to them, especially the 60% of current clients who own a cell phone. We hope to finalize agreements with both cell phone service providers in the country, TNM and Zain, to ensure that all clients are able to use the cell phone banking service. Banki Mmanja will reach out to current clients in urban and rural areas, as well as unserved rural communities. In particular, we will target communities near trading centers without a bank location or those far away from our mobile or fixed locations. Furthermore, we plan to complement the cell phone product with the cash back banking product made possible through POS devices. This will enable clients in rural areas without a bank presence to have a cash point where they can make withdrawals and deposits. Congratulations to our local staff for their tireless work in bringing this program to the people of Malawi.
Earlier today, we announced a grant from Credit Suisse which will enable us to expand the deployment of our cutting-edge microfinance banking technologies and our human capacity building initiatives. Opportunity’s “electronic wallet strategy” utilizes technologies such as cell phone banking to improve services and reduce banking transaction costs when making financial services available to people living in poverty. Read more about our exciting new work with Credit Suisse.
-Margaret Youngs, program coordinator for International Business Development, Opportunity International
In addition to the introduction of mobile phone banking, there is more good news for banking customers in Malawi! Opportunity Malawi has opened a new satellite branch in Ndirande Township, to save clients valuable time and resources traveling to the main bank branches far away in urban areas. Read more about the new Ndirande satellite on Opportunity’s blog.