By Staff Writer:
National Bank of Malawi plc has launched a new product called ‘Taoloka’ which offers vendors across the country easy access to financial products and services including loans of up to K5 million.
Speaking during the launching ceremony held at Blantyre Market on Wednesday, NBM plc Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mcfussy Kawawa said the Bank decided to introduce the product considering the cry for working capital by vendors.
“As the Bank of the Nation, we provide financial solutions to all Malawians and in this service offering, the urban vendors will have a chance of accessing unsecured short-term loans of up to K5 million with a maximum repayment period of three years. This product has been designed to offer lending and transactional products uniquely tailored to the needs of urban market vendors.
“This is also the Bank’s strategy to grow the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector while supporting the government’s initiatives to achieve equitable access to banking services among small business owners through financial inclusion,” said Kawawa.
Inside the Taoloka product, urban market vendors will have an SME Savings account with a book balance of K2,500 and a current account with cheque book at 50% fee of a normal SME account.
They will also be granted access to premier mobile banking platform, the Mo626 Digital and our internet banking platform, the Banknet 360 all at a monthly fee of 50% of the normal fees.
“The urban vendors will have a specific Accounts Relationship Manager (ARM) or Accounts Relationship Officer (ARO) in their specific service centres to help them with the application process,” added Kawawa.
Chairperson of the Blantyre Vendors Association, Martin Matchengo commended NBM plc for the initiative saying for a long time they have been rebuffed by banks to access loans to boost their businesses.
“Most Banks require collateral from us which becomes a challenge. Where do we get cars, houses, and other things to be used as collateral when we are struggling to raise capital for our businesses? This has therefore come at the right time and we are ready Kuoloka ndi National Bank,” he said.
To be eligible for the loans, the vendors need to own a registered business, registered with the vendors association, have a physical location by city council, and evidence of ownership through rental payments receipts among other conditions.