5 April 2012
More than one-million eWallets have been created, and over R1.6-billion paid into them, since the launch of the mobile money transfer solution in 2009, says South Africa’s First National Bank.
FNB’s eWallet allows customers to send money to anyone in South Africa with a valid mobile phone number. Funds can be transferred instantly, and the recipient receives a text message indicating that funds have been sent to their cellphone.
eWallet allows payments to be made into accounts held at all major South African banks, and to nominated beneficiaries, including municipalities and major retail stores.
‘More than just a transfer solution’
“eWallet is more than just a money transfer solution,” Yolande van Wyk, CEO of FNB eWallet Solutions, said in a statement on Monday. “The recipient is able to withdraw cash at FNB ATMs, buy pre-paid airtime or electricity, send money to another cellphone, purchase and/or get cash at selected retailers, as well as make once-off payments.
“We have seen year-on-year eWallet growth of 143% since January 2011,” Van Wyk said. “Average daily ‘send’ values are in excess of R3-million, double the figures we saw a year ago.
Extending access to banking
“We believe the growth of eWallet illustrates the important role it plays in providing access to financial services.”
The majority of the funds sent to eWallets originate from metropolitan hubs, and are then accessed across the country, often in small towns such as Giyani in Limpopo province and Ngcobo in Eastern Cape.
Research recently undertaken by FNB indicates that 61% of funds are sent to provinces other than the one where the user resides.
“We offer a range of financial services to anyone with a South African cellphone number, providing a safe and convenient mechanism to transact,” Van Wyk added.