Natswitch needs to improve, says NBM

Post was last updated: January 5, 2016

National Bank of Malawi says the National Switch Centre (Natswitch), through which all commercial banks in the country are linked electronically, requires major improvements to – among other things; reduce system failures on the network.

Among other things, Natswitch allows bank customers to withdrawal cash from autoteller machines of other banks other than that where they have accounts.

However, NBM ch ief executive officer, George Partridge, said in an interview that a lot of interruptions have been experienced on the Natswitch, causing inconveniences to customers.

He said banks also had problems to have their cash disbursed upon making transactions due to system failures.

“We believe that the Natswitch is working very hard to make sure that in 2016 things improve. We do understand that any system would have teething problems once introduced, so it’s not really a strange thing,” said Partridge.

Natswich went live on February 16, 2015 to ease access to retail payment services and central securities depository under the Financial Sector Technical Assistance Project (FSTAP) funded by the World Bank.

Through Natswitch, commercial banks in Malawi are now able to share ATM, point of sale, m-banking, e-banking, Visa and MasterCard as well overthe- counter transactions for the convenience of their respective customers.

Meanwhile, in its latest National Payment System (NPS) report, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says Natswitch processed a total of 336,975 transactions valued at K5.4 billion, saying the substantial increase was captured in November.

“In November 2015, the switch processed 64,398 transactions with a total value of K1.1 billion, representing an increase of 6.7 percent and 3.9 percent on the preceding month’s transaction volume and value, respectively,” says RBM, in the report.

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