First National Bank is having another go at attracting the unbanked and underbanked in South Africa, announcing on Wednesday the imminent launch of a mobile bank account that allows consumers to use either a feature phone or smartphone to open a bank account without ever walking into a branch.
Called eWallet eXtra, the mobile wallet has no monthly fees and consumers are not required to submit any paperwork — only their name and ID number on their phone. The product will be launched by June. Only people 16 and over will be able to use it.
“If you are above the age of 16 and own a cellphone, you’ll be able to get a mobile bank account with a unique account number in less than three minutes, and you don’t need a bank card to transact,” said Gugu Zikhali, FNB’s head of transaction products for the mass market, in a statement.
eWallet eXtra can be used to send or receive deposits from individuals and other banks, store funds for an unlimited period, pay accounts and buy prepaid products, including cellular airtime and electricity.
Users can also withdraw money at any FNB ATM or at tills at participating Spar stores, which also allow for over-the-counter purchases.
The daily spend limit is R3 000, or R24 000/month.
Those who use an FNB Connect Sim will be able to access eWallet eXtra for free as they do not need airtime. Security is in the form of a Pin code. “To safeguard customers, eWallet eXtra will not carry debit order functionality,” the bank said.
It said the product will address gaps it has identified in its analysis of entry-level bank accounts and its eWallet remittance service.
Pieter Woodhatch, CEO of FNB Easy, said more than a million users have been using its eWallet product as a bank account despite the fact that the solution was designed as a remittance service. He said the size of the addressable market is at least 11m. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media
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