FNB launches agency banking solution

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Nthatuoa Koeshe

FIRST National Bank (FNB) Lesotho yesterday launched Cash Plus Lai Lai, a mobile banking innovation which allows individuals to make cash withdrawals or deposits at agents within their proximity without needing a bank account.

Launched in Maseru, the facility will allow people from different walks of life to transact without visiting the bank’s branches or needing an FNB automated teller machine (ATM) to withdraw or deposit cash. Instead, one will just need to approach Cash Plus Lai Lai agents within their proximity.

FNB Head of Retail Teboho Mhlanga said the new development is meant to bring services close to the people. He said Cash Plus Lai Lai is designed to foster financial inclusion by bringing banking services and solutions to both business and individual customers throughout the country.

“We have brought in an innovative cutting-edge distribution strategy called Cash Plus Lai Lai which will allow customers to perform card less withdrawals via FNB Cellphone Banking or FNB App and withdraw the cash from an agent,” Mr Mhlanga said.

He said the facility will also allow clients to cash-out FNB e-wallet transactions from agents instead of ATMs only.

“Sending e-wallet is free to any number in Lesotho for all customers on bundled pricing and the recipient will be able to redeem the funds for free from any agent if withdrawn in one transaction,” Mr Mhlanga said.

He said deposits into FNB accounts can also be made at Lai Lai agents for free.

Mr Mhlanga said the innovation is a solution for clients who are usually forced to travel with large sums of money.

“This affords FNB business customers benefits such as reduced security risks associated with handling of cash, reduced cash deposit fees as the money withdrawn by customers at an agent’s till is credited to the business account and treated as a free deposit earning revenue in the form of commission for every transaction on the Cash Plus Lai Lai platform,” he said.

He said Lai Lai is currently active in Maseru, Leribe and Mafeteng but there were applications waiting for approval from all the other districts. He said in the bank’s constant quest to deliver on the nationally important agenda of financial inclusion, FNB has taken some ground-breaking steps to bringing banking services closer, not only to FNBL customers but also to the unbanked population.

“These are some of the few solutions that FNB has created to bring services closer to all customers and the multitudes of individuals that are not banked but have a need to receive money from around the country.”

Mr Mhlanga further noted that the bank had other new developments which will improve banking convenience. These include free Wi-Fi in all FNB branches to allow their customers to download their banking applications and get assistance on how to use the applications while in any of their branches.

“We also have the zero data costs on the FNB app. This will allow Vodacom subscribed customers to use our FNB Banking App free of data charges at any time in the day,” Mr Mhlanga said.

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