Namibia: Nampost Joins Visa Network

State-owned savings bank and mail delivery company NamPost has launched new Visa smart cards which will allow low-income clients to transfer, receive and transact easily.

This was revealed by NamPost's manager of corporate communications, Wilson Shikoto, in a press release issued yesterday.

He said the cards are a solution to the closed-loop cards issued in the past that were only usable at post offices, or at shops with NamPost point of sale machines.

"The launch is done in pursuance of the corporate strategy of NamPost to broaden the financial services offerings of NamPost Savings Bank, in particular to the unbanked and underbanked segment of our population," Shikoto added.

The new smart card will be used to withdraw funds at all automated teller machines (ATMs) across the country, as well as make payments through any point-of-sale machines in shops.

NamPost has issued three types of smart cards, namely the transactional smart card, the power of attorney smart card, and the business smart card.

The transactional smart card is a replacement for the existing card, which is meant for normal transactions; the power of attorney smart card is given to a person who transacts on behalf of somebody else; while the business smart card allows business owners to save and transact on the account.

Evangelina Hamunyela, chairperson of the NamPost board, noted that the transactional smart card has an option for affordable funeral cover at a fee of N$10.

"If we reflect on the law that established NamPost, one of its mandates is the rendering of a money transfer service, which of course intertwines with payment. Therefore, improvements on the smart card are addressing the core function of NamPost, as envisioned in the law," communication technology minister Stanley Simataa said during the launch.

The chief executive officer of NamPost, Festus Hangula, explained that there is a wrong perception that the institution mainly caters for pensioners, but their client base comprises young people too, hence the decision aligns with their clientèle.

He admitted that the new development will introduce a new risk for the elderly as withdrawals are now possible at ATMs, which were previously only possible in the presence of the owner.

Pensioner Ithindi Sanhelb said at the launch that he was happy with the latest development, adding that he would now be able to transact on weekends and any other time he pleases.

He added that he was looking forward to use the funeral cover facility, which will help in the case of an unfortunate event happening.

-Email: michael@namibian.com.na

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