Old Mutual, Airtel launch Phuka Digital Savings

Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG) Managing Director Mark Mikwamba

Old Mutual Unit Trust Company Malawi Limited (OMUT) in collaboration with Airtel Malawi has launched Phuka Digital Savings platform where people will be saving money in their mobile phones and be earning some interests.

Phuka Digital Savings was officially launched on Wednesday October 25, 2023 in Blantyre where Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG) Managing Director Mark Mkwamba, said the product has been launched to promote an investing culture amongst people in the country.

Mkwamba further said through this innovative distribution channel, their company seeks to extend its reach to a broader customer base, making it accessible to anyone, thereby promoting financial inclusion in line with the aspirations of the Malawi 2063 agenda.

“Phuka is a savings product that you can do on your phone, so you don’t need to come to Old Mutual and it is in partnership with Airtel. This means using a mobile phone, one can be making investments starting with K5000, the limit is how much money you have in your mobile wallet.

“This is so convenient and we are very confident that Malawians will embrace it. You can imagine that right now, everyone is using mobile money and we are just extending the mobile money; instead of the mobile money to just sit idle, we are saying you can earn interests until you need the money next time. We believe that this is value adding to our customers, we believe it will change the landscape.

“Only 60 percent of adult population have access to financial services, now as Old Mutual we want to participate in this financial inclusion and we have realized that most people have got mobile phones and therefore by bringing this product in their mobile phone, we believe that we are bringing them into the financial service and it starts from there and they can access other financial services in the future,” explained Mkwamba.

On her part, Acting Managing Director of Airtel Money Virginia Jere, said with their robust Airtel Money network of over 4.5 million customers, 1,300 branches and 118,000 agents, Phuka Digital Savings offer a great opportunity for investment institutions such as Old Mutual to expand their reach.

Jere further said the product has been created with the customer’s future investment prospects in mind and has been tailored to offer Airtel Money customers more benefits as it will increase their financial income through earning more than what they could have if they kept the same money in cash.

“We have been having this demand from our customers that currently we do not have legit savings platform that are convenient to our customers that can be found on mobile money. So, we have partnered with Old Mutual to provide this saving platform to our customers which is very innovative,” said Jere.

She further indicated that their company is working tirelessly to make the product also be accessible on digital platforms such as ‘My Airtel App’ than only on USSD code which it is currently accessible on.

The minimum amount which one can invest on the platform is K5,000 and can invest or choose to disinvest at any time.

Meanwhile, Old Mutual has entered into partnership with Malawi’s current trending musician Driemo who will be championing the Phuka Digital Savings platform.