Some rural areas of South Africa have been provided with non-cash dispensing Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) with deposit capability to help them access banking services.
First National Bank (FNB), which has recently launched the initiative for the first time in the country, said the roll-out of the new generation of ATMs sought to improve access to banking in most rural parts of South Africa and broaden financial inclusion.
The ATMs, which are a smaller version of the standard introduced by the bank in 2013, have been placed at the doorstep of communities through Spaza Shops and other general retailers, especially in remote areas.
Despite being Africa’s largest economy and boasting the continent’s richest banks, South Africa still has quite a considerable number of people – mostly in rural areas – that lack access to banking services.
“South Africa has many communities that have limited or no access to banking services because they are far from urban centres,” Lee-Anne van Zyl, CEO of FNB Points of Presence, said in a statement.
This version of ATMs is safe and easy to operate and can perform a variety of transactions such as airtime and electricity purchases, view statements, pay traffic fines and perform card cancellations, the Johannesburg-based bank said.
“We are improving access to banking by introducing a new range of non-cash dispensing ATMs which we believe will be incredibly helpful,” van Zyl added.
The cash deposit functionality is an added layer of convenience for the earmarked communities as they will be able to send and receive cash through a channel that is cheaper than going into a branch.