Representatives of National Bank of Malawi (NBM) are speaking highly of the Taoloka loan product, which targets vendors in established flea markets, saying it has grown its customer base and loan portfolio in the past year.
KASUNDA—The performance is satisfactory
In an interview, on the sidelines of a business breakfast in Blantyre, Thursday, NBM Head of Retail Banking Oswin Kasunda said, through the product, the bank has opened over 1,100 new accounts in the four cities where the product was introduced and have disbursed loans over K1 billion.
“This is a product we decided to introduce in partnership with the vendors. We did realise that vendors form a significant portion of the economic sector and we saw that they were lacking in so many ways, especially accessing financial services through that banks. So, we introduced Taoloka product so that vendors can have access to banking services, capital and transactional banking accounts.
“Among the customers’ segments, vendors have performed well and we are happy with the performance so far. The default rate is at 5 percent which is acceptable,” Kasunda said.
Patrick Michongwe, a vendor who runs a fashion and men’s wear business in Blantyre, lauded the bank for the initiative, saying it provided the much-needed capital boost.
“The product is very good and has helped us to boost our business. For a long time, we have been failing to access bank loans because of issues of collateral, among others, but this facility is soft in that you only need to be registered at the market where you ply your trade and, therefore, we are really happy about the product and appreciate the bank for the initiative,” Michongwe said.