Opportunity International is piloting a project bringing mobile banks to rural areas in Malawi. Surveys of Opportunity clients in Malawi revealed that many travel as much as 600km just to save with the bank. Indeed, 85% of Malawi’s 12 million population live in rural areas. Wanting to meet the needs of clients, but avoid the high costs of establishing numerous rural branch offices, Opportunity International designed a mobile banking system using two bullet-proof, all terrain 4-wheel drive vehicles – one five tonne truck fitted with an ATM and one three tonne truck without an ATM for more remote areas like farms.
Carrying two bank employees, two armed Police Mobile Force guards and decked out with solar power, a GPS tracking system and satellite technology allowing real-time transactions, these vehicles will cover 26 service points in five districts on a weekly basis. They will visit designated market places on market days and operate through open windows. For a small fee that is less than a bus fare to the nearest town, clients will then be able to deposit or access funds using their Malswitch card. (Source: Opportunity International)
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