Airtel Malawi launches mobile money platform

Airtel Malawi on Wednesday launched a mobile money service called “Airtel Money Transfer”, a mobile money platform that provides Malawians an opportunity to pay for utilities, top up their airtime and money transfer service.

The service started as a pilot in a few districts of the country and will be rolled out nationwide.

Airtel Malawi Managing Director Saulos Chilima said the service is an answer to the onerous task creating innovative financial solutions that rest on the mobile platform to a country that has recorded steady growth rate in the mobile market.

“Mobile phone markert has completely transfomed the face of banking and services. Airtel Money give a large segment to a the unbanked population easy access to financial services,” he said

Chilima: Airtel money platform

Currently, he said, the company is working with various partners and the regulator inorder to harmonise the service inorder to save the customers better.

Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga said Airtel Money is an ideal service for countries like Malawi.

Lipenga said Malawians should take maximum advantage and reap the benefits of mobile commerce and other innovative services from Airtel.

“In countries such as ours, urban populations have typically had easy access to financial institutions while rural populations on the other hand have often been left out of the system due to cost and distance from urban centres,” said Lipenga.

With the service, he said, both the banked and unbanked customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of affordable , fast and secure financial transactions.

According to him, Malawi has a low level of financial inclusion with only 48 per cent accessing some form of financial services which includes formal and informal services.

Adding that only 19 per cent of the population has access to formal banking services a picture which is replicated across regions.

Minister of Industry and Trade John Bande said Airtel is a solution to traders because life will be simplified to a trader who used to spend time to travel to the bank on daily sales.

“Now he can transact while on his bench, in his shop or at his house by using the new service,” he said.

Minister of Information and Civic Education Patricia Kaliati said the service signifies that Malawi is progressively catching up with ever changing technological advancements worldwide.

“ We believe that time has come for our country to get exposed to the latest technologies in telecommunication sector,” she said.

She therefore urged the company to train and orient Malawians so that they benefit from the service.

Airtel Money will be available to all Airtel customers, both prepaid and post-paid.

However, Malawi is the fifth country after Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda to embrace the service.


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