The launch of the SwaziBank debit card, supported by MasterCard, would enable Swazis to transact outside the borders of the Kingdom, SwaziBank managing director Zakhele Lukhele said this week. SwaziBank customers were forced to travel with large sums of cash because the bank, which is 100 percent owned by the government, was only available in Swaziland. “The bank was obliged to address this by soliciting a banking solution that will allow our customers to access their funds across borders,” Lukhele said. This challenge brought about the relationship between SwaziBank and MasterCard, which Lukhele said provided a leading global banking solutions that made payment safe, simple and smart. The SwaziBank cards would be accepted in 37 million global locations including ATMs and sale points in 210 countries. The bank would roll out the cards next week. “I am optimistic that all our customers would have received the new cards by [the] end of this month,” Lukhele told guests at the launch on Wednesday. MasterCard vice-president Charlton Goredema said electronic payment solutions contributed to financial inclusion. Goredema said cash was unsafe and dirty and contributed to the grey economy. The government has welcomed the bank’s new step, saying it will contribute to the economic development of the country. – Mantoe Phakathi