10 October 2011
First National Bank says that over R1-billion has been transferred via its money transfer solution eWallet, which allows money to be sent to anyone with a valid South African mobile number, since its launch in October 2009.
This allows for money to be sent even to people who do not have a bank account. When sent money in this manner, the recipient receives an SMS informing them that they have received money, and the necessary instructions to withdraw it from an FNB ATM.
They can also choose to send the money to another recipient and even buy prepaid airtime or electricity.
eWallet Solutions CEO Yolande van Wyk said that the growth of eWallet could be attributed to its ease of use and its convenience. “We are pleased with the growth that we have experienced,” she said in a statement last week.
“On average we are seeing over R3-million being sent daily to eWallets by FNB customers. This kind of activity illustrates how convenient our customers are finding eWallet.”
Cellphone banking most popular
Since its launch, more than 700 000 eWallets have been created. FNB customers can send money via cellphone banking, online banking and FNB ATMs, with cellphone banking being the most popular channel.
Van Wyk said that eWallet was not a solution specifically for a certain target market, as customers from any income bracket could benefit from using it. “Besides beign used for sending money to family or friends in remote areas, one can reimburse friends for lunch or use it to give children their pocket money,” she said.
Encouraged by the success of eWallet in South Africa, FNB has made the solution available in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, in keeping with its strategy of expanding its products and services into the rest of the continent.
According to Van Wyk, eWallet is proving to be extremely popular in those countries as well, showing similar month on month growth as was seen in South Africa.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the service to add value to our customers,” she said. “We have seen the importance of being at the forefront of our industry in order to differentiate ourselves from our peers and other services available in the market.”
Innovation award shortlist
eWallet was recently shortlisted as a finalist for the Financial World Innovation Awards 2011 in the Innovation in the delivery of financial products – Multichannel and Mobile Banking.
The Financial World Innovation Awards have been running for more than a decade, recognising examples of creativity and vision within the financial services industry. The awards will take place on 1 December 2011 in London.
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