FNB’s Pay Wallet has been used to pay more than R42-million to more than 19 000 people since its launch in July last year. And the last six months have shown an average monthly growth rate of 35%.

Pay Wallet is an extension of FNB’s eWallet, which allows FNB customers to send money in realtime to anyone with a cellphone. It enables FNB Corporate, Commercial and Public Sector clients to electronically pay their employees directly to their cellphones or into a debit card. The recipients are then able to access their money immediately at any full service FNB ATM, with or without a bank card.

Research done by Finscope in 2010 states that 12,4-million adults in South Africa still remain unbanked and, of these, 11,1-million adults have never been exposed to any type of formalised banking practices.

“Products such as FNB Pay Wallet are allowing us to bridge the gap between the banked and the unbanked and address the real need for access to financial services. This also allows for the transfer of cash to be done safely and easily,” says Yolande van Wyk, CEO of FNB eWallet Solutions.

Pay Wallet reduces the time and costs associated with handling cash, or issuing cheques to pay employee wages. It can also be used as a replacement for petty cash, by simply paying funds into a card linked to the company, instead of an individual. Payments can be done on FNB Online Banking, individually or via an easy to use file upload system.

FNB has also recently enabled companies to integrate their line of business systems with Pay Wallet, to pay employees via cards. This allows any company, regardless of which bank they do business with, to use Pay Wallet.

Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, comments: “Mobile money transfer is currently the flavour of the moment and mobile wallets meet a desperate need to keep one’s money safe. It is likely that mobile wallet-type applications will serve as a way of ensuring your cash is secure as it is a natural partner service to cellphone banking.”

In its research, Finscope shows that, of adults that have never been formally banked, 89% are black, 7% are coloured, 3% are white and 1% are Indian. In addition, 22% of adults in kwaZulu-Natal have never been banked, giving the province the highest number of unbanked adults in the country. KwaZulu-Natal is followed by Gauteng and Eastern Cape which both sit at 15%, followed by 14% from Limpopo, 11% from Mpumalanga, 7% from the Free State, Northwest and Western Cape, and 3% come from the Northern Cape.