FDH Bank speaks on new paying systems

The newly introduced payments system technologies have improved customer convenience by reducing tumaround times for interbank transactions making customers the biggest winners, FDH Bank has observed.

The country‘s commercial banks in February introduced the National Switch a platform for interoperability of Auto 'l'eller Machine (ATM) services to ease access to retail payment services and Central Securities Depository (CSD) under the Financial Sector Technical Assistance project (ISTAP) funded by the World Bank.

Responding to a questionnaire, FDl-I Bank Chief Executive Officer, Phillip Madinga said the innovations have brought integration and competition on the market.

“On the bank’s side it has also brought competition as every bank would not want their customers to go to another bank's ATM lnfiasmrcture. Hence
each bank is expected to ensure that their customer self-service infrastructure is up all the time,” said Madinga.

However, he said, the comttry's payment system is limited to local transactions, saying this will always aflect the development e-commerce and  limit the benefits of local players regarding taking advantage of the global economy.

“Online payments of international transactions through local cards are very limited due to the current regulatory environment. We hope with time this will be looked into as has been done in other countries,” said Madinga.

He explained that the CSD system is limited to Bank’s as such there are challenges when pledging collateral to non-bank investors for term deposits, adding it would help if the central bank would grant other non banking financial institutions who he said are consistently active in the Treasury Bills market - such as fund managers' access to the system.

He further said the CSD system has greatly reduced turnaround times for interbank placements specifically those transactions that require collateral, saying using CSD, banks are able to pledge collateral and transfer the principal sum in a matter of minutes.

The Reserve Bank of Malawi said in its latest National Payments System report for February that together with the ATS and CSD, the National Switch forms the backbone of an integrated national payment system in Malawi.

By Kingsley Jassi - The Daily Times

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