In a bid to promote Malawi’s digital financial services penetration, Standard Bank has launched an e-commerce gateway that allows businesses receive payments from local and international customers on their websites using debit cards and virtual payment tools.
Standard Bank’s gateway provides for a 12-hour settlement of funds and means that customers pay in their local currency from any location. It comes as the country’s usage of digital financial services more than doubled in 2021, according to official data recently released by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
Head of Client Solutions Ewen Hiwa said the bank’s e-commerce solution is in response to the growing shift by businesses to purchase their supplies and services online.
“Customers in Malawi have become accustomed to buying goods online as the world fast becomes a digitally connected eco-system. We noted that access to payment solutions was in high demand, with businesses of all sizes looking to offer e-commerce solutions. With our e-commerce gateway we are now able to collect payments for both local and international transactions,” he said.
Hiwa said Standard Bank’s e-commerce gateway is available as an add-on to an existing website or as a payment page link which businesses can share with their customers for payments without having to build a full website.
“The e-commerce gateway is ideal for both mobile and desktop demands. Its use applies in various business scenarios, which include but are not limited to courier services, health care, transportation providers, education institutions and government agencies,” he said.
The head of Client Solutions added that businesses that have so far implemented the Standard Bank gateway are able to create the best online shopping experiences, whether through smartphone applications, their corporate website, or other digital means as the service provides easy integration.
Hiwa said the other advantage of Standard Bank’s gateway is that it eliminates forex supply barriers.
“For local customers they pay using their card and Malawi Kwacha denominated account, and for customers outside the country they are paying using their own domestic currency (could be US$, Pounds, Euro, ZAR, as case might be),” he explained.
Hiwa said by increasing access to digital finance options, Standard Bank is helping local businesses create new and global markets for Malawian products and services in liner with #MW2063 goals under the industry innovation and infrastructure pillar.
In its recent National Payments System survey, RBM reported an increase by 62.1% in volume of transactions using digital financial service platforms, and an increase by 77.5% in actual value of the transactions to MWK101.6 Trillion.
The report attributed the upsurge in both the value and volume of the transactions is attributed to the growing customer confidence in usage of electronic payment channels.