FNB doing their bit to help build a 'cashless' society

By Staff Writer
In May 2010 First National Bank's (FNB) eWallet solution began processing transactions worth R1 million a day making great strides into the 'virtual money' environment.

With the advent of technology, especially Cellphone technology banking has evolved dramatically. Banks and Network Operators have created solutions to address the unbanked population. The FNB eWallet solution specifically, has seen a remarkable up-take in a very short period, predominantly because it speaks to people's needs to replace cash easily and safely. Since its inception in October 2009 more than 150,000 eWallets have been created with over R 100,000,000 been sent to friends and family from FNB accounts.

The eWallet solution is a success because it has given customers an alternative to sending cash instantly and securely to family and friends without having to pay exorbitant bank fees or transport costs.

"The recipient doesn't have to be an FNB customer to receive the cash sent to them and they don't require a debit card to withdraw the cash at an FNB ATM. The recipient also has a choice to either withdraw cash or make use of various electronic transaction options, including purchasing prepaid products such as airtime or sending money to someone else," says FNB Smart Services CEO Yolande Van Wyk.

Since its inception the eWallet from FNB has seen a phenomenal growth. "This growth is accredited to our customers who reside in urban areas who are sending money back home to rural areas, which indicates its ease of use and safety," she adds.

The success of using this technology to send someone cash instantly has enabled FNB to evolve this solution and develop a similar solution that enables employers to pay their un-banked employees' funds into a cellphone.

Van Wyk says Pay Wallet is yet another innovative solution from FNB that aims to ensure that all South Africans are active participants in the growth of our economy. "It affords those with no access to banking services to be paid electronically without the need of a bank account."

Cellphone banking offers everyone access, is not bound by physical infrastructure, income brackets and is available 24 hours a day. It dramatically reduces the costs of transactions as the negation of bricks and mortar services reduces the total cost of service provision; a cost saving that is then translated back into a benefit for the customer.

"Virtual banking and virtual money is gaining momentum in our country and at FNB we are always looking at other alternatives to provide convenience and affordability to our customers," Van Wyk concludes.

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