NBS Bank Plc says it will continue to promote the interests of its customers to safely manage their finances through the Tidalirane Group Transactional Account, specially developed for village bank groups.
NBS Bank Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, Tamanda Longwe said the Bank launched the Tidalirane account in December 2020, in reaction to requests from various organisations and individuals alike to address the safety of the money when kept at home and the risks associated with singular control of the village bank purse.
Longwe said the Tidalirane account was a product of concerted efforts between NBS Bank and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
“UNCDF chose NBS Bank based on its unparalleled experience in financial inclusion, taking affordable banking to customers’ doorsteps. Among other efforts, the Bank’s wide footprint, which includes service centres and Bank Pafupi agents, makes it easy to serve village bank groups right in their neighbourhoods.”
“By nature, village banks thrive on everything being “Eazy”, including accessing money within minutes and without extra costs such as transport costs to access banking facilities. Additionally, NBS Bank has one of the most robust digital platforms that assist village banks to easily move money among members,” explained Longwe.
She further said that the initiatives of the Bank and its partners, including UNCDF, are centred around improving the livelihood of Malawians in a sustainable way.
“Issues of security of the village bank purse were addressed by creating dual control, so for every transaction, designated signatories have to authorise through their phones, without necessarily being in one place. Issues of expenses involved to go and cash the money at the Bank, were addressed through the robust network of Bank Pafupi agents present in the customers’ neighbourhoods.”
“Issues of inadequate capital were resolved by creating a soft loan without need for collateral specifically for village banks. There are no monthly fees levied on the account; on the contrary, the Bank gives interest for account balances. Customers are able to cash out at the Bank Pafupi agent, do loan repayments, deposit funds and open accounts. It should also be noted that once a transaction has passed, all members are alerted through an SMS, further enhancing the security of the funds by ensuring everyone is up to date regarding their group’s affairs,” said Longwe.
She said the Bank serves both rural and urban markets; this is why urban village banks can also link their accounts to EazyOnline, the internet banking platform, where funds can be transferred to members within the bank or outside the bank.
“Apart from transacting at the Bank Pafupi agent, the Tidalirane account can also be accessed through the ATMs country-wide,” said Longwe..
Asked about the recent surge of competition, Longwe advised that competition is always healthy in any industry, and was quick to say that NBS Bank leads the way owing to the 360-degree offering, where the various pieces of the puzzle have, over time, neatly been fitted together.
“Experience is the best teacher”, she said.