Ravesh Ramlakan, CEO FNB Cellphone Banking Solutions says: "Cellphone banking offers an inexpensive and convenient method for the previously unbanked to have access to banking services traditionally reserved for a privileged few. The African continent, by pure virtue of the fact that its infrastructure is still catching up with first world countries, is an ideal market for cellphone banking centric services and it is with this that we coupled cellphone banking services into our African expansion portfolio."
FNB currently offers cellphone banking services in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, and has recently launched to market in Swaziland with products such as inContact, Cellphone Banking for individuals and businesses and prepaid airtime. FNB is also in the process of launching Cellphone Banking in Lesotho.
The success of the African business can be seen in the numbers and the overall value of business accrued from FNB's Cellphone Banking for individuals that highlights a year on year volume growth of more than 90% across Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. In addition, monthly transaction values of R58 million yielded a staggering 106% year on year growth in these regions.
While the customer acquisition rates in the region have been phenomenal, the customer retention and usage rates FNB is experiencing is evidence that the model is working, as subscribed customers show a high activity rate.
"FNB has managed to significantly bolster its African business base because of the benefits and relevance of the service to the people in the countries we service." adds Ramlakan.
Looking ahead FNB Cellphone Banking has committed to continue its investment into its African subsidiaries, with a focus on innovation by way of introducing new products and services.
"Sceptics mused that we were wasting our time by exploring opportunities in other African countries, but our success speaks for itself. Africa is ready, and the people are hungry for products that speak to them and act as an enabler to their own personal socio economic growth. At FNB we are deeply committed to our African subsidiaries and will continue to invest in their growth," concludes Ramlakan.