My mobile phone rings for the umpteenth time today. They are so much a part of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine a time when we functioned without them.

It might surprise you to learn that in some of the poorest countries of the world, mobiles are an indispensable part of daily life too. Imagine walking or cycling for several hours to get to market only to find that the price being offered for your crop is too low. Get the prices in advance by text and you can save much time and effort.

With 60 per cent of our Malawian customers owning a mobile, it made sense to introduce cellphone banking. Banki M’manja, which means “bank in my hand”, puts a package of financial services literally in the palm of the hand. It’s a win-win, cutting our costs and allowing clients in remote areas to conduct transactions without the time and expense of travelling to a branch.