Money sent to recipients via FNB’s mobile money solution eWallet topped the R1-billion-a-month mark for the first time in July 2015, posting an increase of 66% from the R650 000 000 sent in the July 2014.
“When South Africans need cash, now they ask for ‘eWallet’,” says Yolande Steyn CEO of eWallet Solutions at FNB. “We find that our customers use the term ‘eWallet’ generically to be paid via mobile money, so much so that reaching the R1-billion mark did not come as a surprise to us.”
Urban centres tend to have a higher usage of eWallet and FNB found that, apart from sending money home, other reasons to use the service include paying friends or sending money in an emergency. Some recipients also accept payments for goods or services via eWallet.
“The majority of eWallet sends are to family and friends, with many recipients receiving money twice a month, illustrating that receiving money on your phone is the new norm,” says Steyn.
FNB’s eWallet consumer service accounts for the majority of sends, at 77%, while the bank’s business solution, eWallet Pro, which allows businesses to pay the unbanked through their cell number or a prepaid card, accounts for the other 23%.  eWallet Pro is showing strong growth and is a popular payment solution in the construction, healthcare, insurance, education and agriculture industries.
Gauteng eWallet users send and receive the lion’s share of mobile money in the country with a 47% share, followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal at 15% and the Eastern Cape at 10%.
“The first R1-billion took us two years to reach, and now people are sending R1-billion a month. The numbers are big, but the primary focus for us is to really impact lives through the simplicity of eWallet,” Steyn says.