28 November 2011
First National Bank (FNB) is to enhance its eWallet solution, which enables employers to pay salaries directly to their employees’ mobile phones, by introducing features that enable users to pay money from their eWallet directly to a bank account, and even to pay their bills.
FNB has had success with eWallet, with over R1-billion being transferred using the solution during the year between its launch in October 2009 and October this year. Encouraged by the success of eWallet in South Africa, FNB has since made the solution available in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
“When we created the eWallet, recipients were only able to send money to another cellphone,” eWallet Solutions CEO Yolande van Wyk said in a statement this week.
“With this enhancement, eWallet users are able to pay funds directly into an individual’s bank account at any of the major South African banks, or easily make a payment to one of our pre-loaded beneficiaries such as municipalities, Edgars etc.”
Following customers’ feedback, the eWallet can now hold a maximum balance of R3 000, increased from the R 1 000 limit introduced at the product’s launch in 2009. The maximum amount a customer can transfer to another person per day has also been increased from R 1 000 to R1 500.
“Enabling South Africans to transfer money directly into a bank account or pay their bill without having to leave their homes is taking us closer to making banking truly accessible to the previously unbanked,” added Van Wyk.
The eWallet 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.
“The beauty of eWallet is that the recipient doesn’t need a bank account to be able to access the money sent to them,” she said. “In addition to withdrawing cash, buying prepaid airtime or sending the money to another person, they can also pay their bills instantly and conveniently.”
Innovation award shortlist
eWallet has been 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 in London on 1 December 2011.
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