South Africa’s First National Bank’s eWallet is showing strong growth in its African operations with a 119% year-on-year increase in the last financial year, the bank said today.
It has also maintained its growth trajectory in South Africa with the total number of eWallets in all countries reaching 2.5 million, an 84% increase on the previous financial year.
“The success of eWallet in South Africa as well as our African operations has proven that there is a pervasive need to send money easily and instantly through a network agnostic mobile money solution,” Yolande van Wyk, FNB CEO of eWallet Solutions at FNB, said in a statement.
“Over the last financial year alone, over R3.2 billion (about US$310 million) has been sent into eWallets across countries in which the service has been launched,” she added.
These countries include South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zambia.
Outside of South Africa two countries in particular have shown very high customer acceptance and take-up. Both Namibia and Botswana’s growth has exceeded expectations with approximately 17% of citizens in Botswana and, in less than a year, over 5% of the population in Namibia receiving money into an eWallet.
“The growth of eWallet in the African subsidiaries has been a lesson in how local conditions effect how people adopt and use a service. We have noticed that Botswana and Namibia’s low population density contributes to the take-up.
“With a population density of less than four people per square kilometre in both these countries, there is clearly a need to send money across a distance, and eWallet has fulfilled this need,” van Wyk explained.
In South Africa there are no discernible corridors as eWallet users tend to send money within a region or province, with Gauteng being the predominant province from which people are sending and receiving money.
Gauteng, where Johannesburg is located, is South Africa’s richest province and Africa’s fourth-biggest economy.
FNB said it was still building the eWallet business outside of Namibia and Botswana, and in countries such as Zambia and Lesotho, eWallet will support the growth of the bank in those countries its operations are still very young.
“Also with the expansion of our ATM network, as well as new technologies such as the Slimline ATMs, we have the potential to grow the eWallet business even further across all countries,” van Wyk concluded.
(Issued by FNB, final editing by Issa Sikiti da Silva)