January 23, 2012

South Africa's First National Bank is partnering with retailer Pep to offer its mobile wallet device to the unbanked and underbanked.

South African consumers will now be able to use their cellphones to shop at Pep stores in South Africa with the bank's eWallet money transfer solution even if they don't have a First National account.

Launched in 2009, the bank's eWallet product has more than 700,000 users and allows customers use their mobile phones to send and receive money, buy pre-paid airtime and purchase goods and services online.

With this partnership, any South African consumer with a bar-coded South African ID can deposit, send, and withdraw money, make payments and purchase goods at any PEP store in the country. Previously, the service was only available to the bank's customers.

"With this partnership we are further extending banking services to all South Africans, with or without a bank account," said First National Bank CEO Michael Jordaan. "This will enable them to send and receive money instantly, a simple yet safe solution in providing access to financial services."

[Click here for more on how banks and card issuers are reaching the underbanked.]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...