More power to the people

…as FNB and LEC srike landmark deal

Rethabile Pitso

FIRST National Bank Lesotho (FNB) says beginning tomorrow, account-holders will be able to purchase electricity through the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

Announcing the latest innovation in Maseru this week, FNB Lesotho Chief Executive Officer, Emil Heppell, said account-holders will be able to purchase electricity worth between M20 and M1000 in one transaction for a M5 fee.

Mr Heppell added the facility was the result of talks between FNB and the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC), which started as far back as October 2013.

“We are grateful this new partnership will offer the most convenient way for our clients to purchase electricity,” Mr Heppell said at the facility’s launch on Tuesday.

“With over 140 000 debit card-holders, we are looking at introducing the benefits of this initiative to our valued customers in fulfilment of FNB’s objective of affording them the simplest banking services on a platform that they trust and is most familiar to them.”

He added that FNB had embarked on increasing its ATMs from the current 46 to 70 countrywide in order to accommodate as many clients as possible.

“What we are looking at is expanding access to services through mobile phones and online banking in future,” Mr Heppell further noted.

FNB Sales and Electronic Banking Manager, Bright Pita, said the new service was going to be cost-effective as the M5 charge would remain constant no-matter the amount of electricity purchased.

Mr Pita further said FNB had also availed the facility on its “e-wallet” service which allows people who do not have an account with the financial institution to buy the commodity.

In his address, LEC Managing Director Mbele Hoohlo, said the partnership was the first between the company and a financial institution and part of the power utility’s vision of providing electricity to as many residents as possible.

“LEC’s mandate is not only to provide electricity, but also making its purchase easy for the public. It is through such partnerships that LEC can reach more customers on diversified platforms,” Mr Hoohlo said.

“This co-operation is LEC’s first with any bank and seeks to make services available to a wider range of the population since most of our efforts have been confined to vending machine services in the past.”

Mr Hoohlo further assured clients of the security of the new venture.





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