Johannesburg - FNB is partnering with spaza shop owners to become the first bank in South Africa to introduce a non-cash dispensing ATM with deposit capability in a bid to deliver banking services to rural communities.
The bank said the non-cash dispensing ATMs are currently in pilot phase and the extent and areas of roll-out would depend largely on the outcomes of the pilot. The ATMs are a smaller version of the standard ATM which FNB introduced in 2013 as a way of bringing banking services directly into communities.
The bank said the roll-out of the new generation of ATMs seeks to improve access to banking in most rural parts of South Africa and to broaden financial inclusion. For easy access, the ATMs are placed at the door step of communities through spaza shops and other general retailers, especially in remote locations.
Lee-Anne van Zyl, chief executive of FNB Points of Presence, said South Africa had many communities that had limited or no access to banking services because they were far from urban centres. "We are improving access to banking by introducing a new range of non-cash dispensing ATMs which we believe will be incredibly helpful.
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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." This version of ATMs can perform a variety of transactions such as airtime and electricity purchases, viewing of statements, paying of traffic fines and performing card cancellations.
Cash withdrawals are conducted by way of issuing the customer with a withdrawal voucher that is presented to the retailer to release the cash and the retailer's account is credited by the bank. The model essentially integrates small businesses into the banking ecosystem as the device forms part of their business, potentially increasing foot-traffic to their stores.
"We believe that the convenience of the new ATMs will alleviate the need for communities to visit major shopping centres to do their banking. The roll-out further contributes to enabling financial inclusivity across South Africa's communities," Van Zyl added.
AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY