Absa cellphone banking sees 65% growth

According to statistics released by Absa, cellphone banking transactions between the company’s three mobile banking services have increased by 65 percent year-on-year.

“Cellphone Banking adoption continues to beat expectations,” says Absa Retail Bank Chief Executive, Gavin Opperman. “In 2011, we will see transaction values of about R10 billion transferred via the mobile channels.”

Opperman points to innovations such as loan applications that take under 10 minutes for approval as factors that have seen the rise in mobile banking customers. Prepaid airtime top-ups also prove to be a popular aspect of cellphone banking, sporting a growth rate of 69 percent.

Other popular mobile banking services include CashSend, a service that allows users to transfer money between local accounts from a mobile device. CashSend transactions have risen by 500 percent to over 37,000 transactions per month.

Other interesting statistics released by Absa include:

  • Absa currently serves over 3 million Cellphone Banking customers
  • Customers interacting with Absa on the mobile channel exceeds 7 million
  • The NotifyMe SMS notification system sports a 70% penetration rate in terms of total active transactional customers
  • There has been a 25% increase in the number of businesses using Cellphone Banking
  • Over 90 000 businesses are now using Cellphone Banking on a regular basis

Read the full press release below:

Cellphone Banking usage rises 65%, says Absa

R10 billion expected to be transferred in 2011

Absa has announced a dramatic 65% year-on-year increase in financial transactions made via its three Cellphone Banking offerings.

“Cellphone Banking adoption continues to beat expectations,” says Absa Retail Bank Chief Executive, Gavin Opperman. “In 2011, we will see transaction values of about R10 billion transferred via the mobile channels.

“With a wide range of transactional and enquiry services that are now available via Cellphone Banking, more customers every day are realising the convenience, simplicity and cost-effectiveness of banking on their phones,” he adds. “It is not surprising, therefore, that we signed up our three millionth Cellphone Banking user this week.”

Opperman believes that recent Cellphone Banking innovations, like enabling customers to apply for and receive a loan in just 10 minutes for instance, will continue to drive further migration to this channel.

Prepaid airtime top-ups continue to be a popular Cellphone Banking service, recording a 69% year-on-year growth.

“We expect this momentum to continue. Our recently announced agreement with Vodacom means that customers do not have to use any airtime to access our Cellphone Banking Lite service. No matter where they are, customers will be able to easily recharge their funds even if they are completely out of airtime,” explains Opperman.

The domestic money transfer service CashSend, and the international version, Western Union money transfer, have also proven to be extremely successful with Absa’s Cellphone Banking customers.

More than a third of all CashSend transactions are conducted via Cellphone Banking. “The average number of monthly CashSend transactions that are made via Cellphone Banking has risen by 500% from last year, to over 37 000 per month,” states Opperman.

“CashSend is a truly game-changing innovation,” says Opperman. “From wherever you may be, customers can make an instant payment to anyone in South Africa, irrespective of whether they have a bank account or not – as long as they have a cellphone number.”

Drawing on Absa’s large footprint of almost 6 000 ATMs, it is both easy and convenient for the recipient to access these funds at their nearest ATM.

Absa has recently enhanced CashSend to allow small business owners to instantly make multiple CashSend payments to a number of staff members, with one simple transaction. This innovation significantly reduces the risks associated with carrying large sums of cash in order to pay weekly wages or monthly salaries.

Although the bank currently boasts 3 million Cellphone Banking customers, the total number of customers interacting with Absa on the mobile channel exceeds 7 million.

“This is the number of customers registered for the SMS alert service, NotifyMe,“ says Opperman. “This handy tool is now nearing a 70% penetration rate in terms of our total base of active transactional customers.”

Absa sends over 58 million NotifyMe messages every month.

Statistics also show a 25% increase in the number of businesses using Cellphone Banking to better control their companies’ finances.

“The seamless integration between one’s Business Internet Banking service, and one’s Business Cellphone Banking service makes the mobile phone a very useful tool for business owners and managers who are always on the move,” says Opperman.

Over 90 000 businesses are now using Cellphone Banking on a regular basis.

“Absa is constantly innovating in order to deliver cutting-edge, tailored solutions to all our customer segments. We are confident that this will substantially drive up the number of cellphone banking users,” concludes Opperman.

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Absa cellphone banking sees 65% growth