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FinTech

TNM Mpamba launches debit card for Malawi's unbanked

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Malawian mobile money service provider, TNM Mpamba, is partnering with Mastercard to provide a new fintech solution to help enhance financial inclusion in the Southern Africa nation.

TNM Mpamba has launched a Mastercard debit card, enabling its customers – even those without bank accounts – to make in-person and online digital payments in Malawi and abroad.

Dubbed "Khadi Mbambande," the new card is a country-first for Malawi and is a physical Mastercard debit card linked to a mobile money wallet rather than a bank account.

The card will be powered by National Bank of Malawi and will let customers withdraw funds from ATMs, as well as use the card in a similar manner to the Mastercard virtual Khadi Mbambande payment solution to access an array of online payments and services like Netflix, Facebook advertising and popular online shopping platforms like Amazon.

According to Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor Dr. Wilson Banda, who spoke at the launch event in Lilongwe, the solution will accelerate efforts towards deepening financial inclusion and economic activity.

"With the TNM Mpamba Mastercard debit card, there is now certainty to add over nine million people to the national payments system in one fell swoop. Such a development has potential to instantly revolutionize the country's financial services sector, as millions of people become financially included in one go," said Banda.

TNM CEO Arnold Mbwana said the new debit card plays into the company's long-term investments in mobile technology and systems and aims to further improve the capacity of Malawi's national payments ecosystem.

Following double-digit growth in 2020, GSMA's latest data reports over half a billion mobile money accounts in Africa – close to half of the global total.

African users are using their accounts for new and more advanced purposes, including person-to-merchant payments, suggesting that more people are moving away from the margins of financial systems and leading increasingly digital lives.

"To create a powerful ecosystem, partnerships between players are increasingly needed to meet the needs and expectations of the fast-evolving consumer," said Amnah Ajmal, executive VP for market development at Mastercard Middle East and Africa.

"We are pleased to advance our digital partnerships strategy in MEA with TNM Mpamba, as we support their digital transformation and bring more seamless payment experiences to their customers. This, in turn, will help increase the adoption and usage of digital payments and services – ultimately leading to a more connected, and inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone," Ajmal added.

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— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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