Mobile network operators, microfinance firms offer relief amid COVID-19

By Mabuchi Chunga

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) together with mobile network operators and micro-finance institutions have introduced further measures to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the general public.

With the coronavirus posing a threat to the economy and monetary operations in the country government introduced measures to help ease the effects on businesses by among others releasing liquidity to commercial banks and also suspending loan payment by Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and companies.

In the same vein mobile network operators and micro-finance institutions have also joined in to help cushion the effects of the pandemic.

The measures include removing user fees on person to person money transfers and charges on the same network while on cross network transactions there will be a 80% slash from K120 to K20.

The micro-finance sector which comprises of institutions that provide loans and savings service, will also be required to suspend loan repayments including those on payroll.

The statement also says they will postpone the sharing of money within such institutions until COVID-19 pandemic is under control.

The sector will also renegotiate loans for borrowers who have been affected by the COVID-19.

The sector is also are being encouraged to innovate and encourage customers to utilize digital modes of payments.

RBM has also revised the upwards the daily transactions for and account balance limits on non-bank money services.

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