SCTP E-payment System Hailed in Thyolo

Biliwita giving cash to Chilombo Biliwita giving cash to Chilombo - pic by Luka Beston

Beneficiaries of Social Cash Transfer in Thyolo have spoken highly of the electronic payment system which they say is promoting the saving culture.

Speaking to Zodiak Online, Zione Chilombo, a mother of four from Thowera Village, Traditional Authority Nanseta says currently they are withdrawing money when needed, such as paying school fees and household use.

"The system is so good. It is giving us freedom to cash out at any time. You are free to collect it all, or keep some for future household use and school fees.

"Mtukula Pakhomo programme has greatly improved my life. With the little I get, I am able to sustain and meet my social needs," Chilombo said.

Some mobile money agents at Luchenza trade centre Frank Biliwita and Sungeni Sitenala, say the initiative which has increased their customer base and commissions is very secure.

They said on daily basis they are making cash outs to over 50 beneficiaries.

"We have started well this project, it is exciting and we are sure it would improve the lives of many communities. In addition, it has boosted our businesses because it has increased our customer base and commissions," Biliwita said.

On Wednesday, ministry of gender, social welfare and community development officials visited Luchenza trade centre in Thyolo to appreciate how mobile money agents are transacting electronically in the first disbursement of Social Cash Transfer Programme.

Gender ministry's chief social welfare officer Chifundo Nanchukwa, says, government is impressed that the E-payment system has eased mobility challenges for the 16,000 beneficiaries in the district.

"The rolling out has started at a good note, beneficiaries are able to cash out their money. What is giving us satisfaction is that wherever we have gone for spot check in TNM agents, beneficiaries are getting their money. So the liquidity capacity of agents is good and we are satisfied that the E-payment system is working well," Nanchukwa said.

TNM Mpamba mobile money agent manager Marry Kaziputa, says, they have trained the agents and sensitized the beneficiaries to identify fraudsters.

"We have arranged and participated with them in terms of awareness, so say as TNM, we will never call them to ask them on how the program is going on.

“This will prevent them if anyone is calling them on their phone, not answer those calls as a Mtukula pakhomo is concerned," he assured.

The Government of Malawi's Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) is an unconditional transfer targeted to ultra-poor and labor-constrained households.

The beneficiaries are currently getting an average of K9, 000 per month.

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