By Staff Reporter
WINDHOEK – One of the biggest success stories of financial inclusion at First National Bank Namibia in the past two years has been the uptake and use of the its eWallet product, which was launched in Namibia in November 2012. This product has continuously assisted all unbanked citizens with access to banking facilities without a bank account or bank card. More than 50 percent of the eWallets belong to non-FNB clients.
“At the launch in 2012, we promised that eWallet intended to change the face of banking in Namibia and more than two years down the line we can say that it surely has.” So says Desery van Wyk, Manager of Cellphone Banking at FNB Namibia. “The uptake and usage of the product has exceeded our wildest expectations. Namibia contributes almost 50 percent towards the FNB International’s growth in eWallets (number of eWallets opened). There are more than twice as many eWallets created as the number cellphone banking users. The year-on-year base grew by 139 percent and the year-on-year value of money sent via eWallet increased by 144 percent. ”The growth remains strong as more and more unbanked people are beginning to understand the value, ease, convenience, low cost and safety of this product.
Van Wyk went on to say that FNB was proud of these statistics as it also means that banking customers are migrating towards the self-service channels that FNB Namibia offer. “An important part of our strategy is to move away from bricks, that is, our actual branches and get our customers to start clicking – namely using ATM’s, internet banking, cellphones, point-of-sale devices, and the like – all self-help channels which are safe, convenient, easy to use and much more affordable. This is definitely a step in the right direction as it is becoming increasingly costly to service customers through the traditional banking channels.”