First National Bank (FNB) has registered a patent in South Africa for a method of transferring money using an instant messaging service and has included the functionality in its smartphone app.
This is according to the head of FNB Connect, Farren Roper.
Roper said that although instant messaging and mobile banking on their own aren’t patentable, the combination of the two is what makes the technology unique and patentable.
Users of the FNB app can send money to a contact as an instant message in much the same way as they would send a photo.
Funds are sent from and received to an FNB eWallet, a service which is open to non-FNB customers and linked to your cellphone number.
Users that aren’t FNB customers can only load money into their eWallet at an FNB ATM that supports automated deposits (FNB ADT) after registering at an FNB EasyPlan branch.
FNB promises that this registration is an easy process and that it only requires a green bar-coded South African identity book.
The transaction costs for eWallet are summarised in the below table from the FNB website:
|Send Money to someone: (R 20 – R 1 000)||R 8.50|
|(R 1 000.01 – R 2 000)||R 12.50|
|(R2 000.01 – R3 000)||R 16.50|
|Send Money from an eWallet to another eWallet||R 8.50|
|Get cash from an FNB ATM (1 free withdrawal per Send Money transaction)||R6 per R500, Max R18|
|eWallet balance enquiry||FREE|
|eWallet mini-statement request||FREE|
|Cell Pay Point purchase||FREE|
|Prepaid airtime, data and electricity purchase||R 2.50|
|Pay from eWallet to a bank account (Bill payments or Individual payments)||R 2.50|
|Pay Someone from an eWallet using GeoPayments||R 2.50|
|Transfer from your account to your eWallet (Pay as You Use Pricing Option)||R 3.30|
|Transfer from your account to your eWallet (Unlimited Pricing Option)||FREE|
|Transfer from your eWallet to your Account||R 2.50|
|Deposit cash into an eWallet at FNB ADT (ATM with automated deposits)||R 5.00|
|Dormancy fee – after 6 months of inactivity||R 5.00|