National Bank of Malawi has been a flop as far as delivery of its services to customers for the festivie period, customers say.
A number of customers who spoke to Nyasa Times, and others who took their rants to social media platforms such as Facebook said the bank’s services especially auto teller machines (ATMs) and online banking services had been a “frustration.”
Nyasa Times learnt that scores of Malawians living in the diaspora failed to transfer money to their relations back home as the bank’s system was off.
The system, we’ve learnt, has been intermittent since the evening of December 23. Until now, the system remains down – with just a few transactions succeeding out of sheer luck.
Gideon Masapula, a UK based Malawian, complained he had wanted to transfer money to his relatives but when he opened their website it kept telling him that there was “a database connection error (2): could not connect to MySQL.”
Added Masapula: “Unfortunately, I needed to make an urgent transaction. Another problem is that I can’t transfer money to a new beneficiary using banknet online.”
He wondered “why they [National Bank of Malawi] introduced online services which are not effective. Updating of bank transactions and balances takes longer than expected resulting in inconsistencies between online and actual balances.”
On his part Zandivuta Kankhuni, a lecturer at Mzuzu University (Mzuni) expressed his frustration regarding the bank thus: “I used to believe in this bank but somehow they are losing me [for] their out of service ATMs and non-functional online platforms.”
Kankhuni posted on Facebook that “those close to the [bank’s] top dogs should tell them so that they sit back and reflect on the essence of their existence [which is] customer satisfaction.
A number of students across the country also expressed similar frustrations.
Andrew Simwimba, a law student at the Catholic University of Malawi, who said used the bank’s Mo626 to buy airtime accused the bank of unrealistic deductions.
“Sometimes the system deducts without giving our airtime [and] it looks stupid to go to the bank and claim a K200 or K500 or K1000 each time. But for a full year this could be thousands,” he said.
Nyasa Times could not get through the bank’s media relations team as the telephone number available on their website went unanswered after several attempts.
Later, we learnt, most of the bank’s personnel were not available because of Christmas holidays.
A questionnaire Nyasa Times sent to the Institute of Bankers in Malawi (IBM) had not been responded as we went online.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :