FIRST National Bank Lesotho (FNB Lesotho) has urged the public to use its cellphone banking service to access various banking services on their mobile cellular phones, including the transfer of funds to people who have no bank accounts.
The call was made by FNB Lesotho Deputy Chief Executive Mokhachane Mopeli during an experimental session the financial instituion hosted in Maseru to familiarise media practitioners with cellphone banking and its eWallet component.
The eWallet service allows clients to send money from a bank account to a cellphone number. The recipient would then receive an alert via SMS upon which they can withdraw money at the nearest ATM without having to insert an ATM card in the machine.
Mr Mopeli said their innovative solutions end the inconvenience of having to travel to banks each time clients required banking services.
The innovations, he said, also helped reduce the long queues and time spent in the banking halls as well as the associated costs.
“In our quest to be innovative and helpful to the market, we offer cellphone banking,” he said.
“We discovered there are more cellphones out there than bank accounts. Mobile network operators have put cellphones in the palms of just about every Mosotho even in the most rural of places.
“So, with that cellphone in their hands, our role is to enable and make their lives easier by adding banking services and we do that through cellphone banking.”
He said they aimed at reaching as many people as possible in line with government’s plan to increase financial inclusion in the country and described eWallet as a solution for the unbanked population.
“It does not mean that you cannot bank if there is no bank in your home town. You can still do that thanks to technology and thanks to FNB Lesotho,” he added.
He said cellphone banking was available to clients and they could register for the service by dialing *120*321# and following the prompts.
Once the client has registered, they can access their bank account through the service and perform different banking services including buying prepaid airtime and prepaid electricity.
Clients can also check their bank balance, get a history of all transactions, perform inter account transfers, and pay an FNB account holder by simply using the contact number of the recipient.
With the service’s eWallet function, the client can send money, pay salaries or make withdrawals. Money deposited in eWallet can also be used to buy prepaid electricity and airtime.