Finances

The benefits of ditching cash for card and Cellphone Banking

cellphoneWhether you own a normal cell phone (called a feature phone) or a smart phone, you can avoid the risk of carrying cash around and bank from your mobile device or pay with your bank card instead.

South Africans are starting to realise the benefits of digital banking, which is evidenced by the increase that FNB has seen in the use of its digital channels such as App Banking, Cellphone Banking, Online Banking, card swipes and the decrease in cash withdrawals.

“Four million FNB customers are active users on our cell phone banking platform and are enjoying the benefits of doing most of their banking transactions without having to visit an ATM or branch,” says Dione Sankar, Head of Cellphone Banking and Messaging at FNB.

Safety is key

Cellphone Banking or swiping your bank card is a lot safer than carrying cash around. If your wallet or handbag gets stolen the criminal will have all the cash that was in your wallet and you might have to live on a shoestring budget for the rest of the month. If your phone is stolen your money is still safe as the criminal will not be able to access your money because your bank card or Cellphone Banking PIN is needed in order to access your account.

“The bank has various measures in place to make sure that it is safe to transact on your cell phone. However you must remember to never save your PINs and personal information on your cell phone or disclose them to anyone. A criminal will never be able to steal money from your account unless they have this information,” urges Sankar.

Make sure that there is no one that can see your screen whilst you are accessing Cellphone Banking or when typing in your PIN on a keypad.

Less banking fees more saving

Customers who use Cellphone Banking and bank cards to transact can save up to 100% on banking fees dependent on the account type and pricing option held. In addition, no subscription fees are charged for FNB Cellphone Banking.

“Make sure that you select the pricing option that enables you to save as much as possible. Paying someone, making transfers between accounts, purchasing prepaid airtime, requesting a mini statement or checking your balance can all be free through Cellphone Banking,” says Jo-Ann du Plessis, Head of Pricing at FNB Core Banking Solutions.

No more wasting time in queues

“Going in to a branch or visiting an ATM can waste time. You have to spend time on the road only to get into the branch or to the ATM to very possibly stand in a queue. Queues can be avoided by using cell phone banking for the everyday banking activities and more,” says Sankar.

With FNB Cellphone Banking, customers can check account balances, view transaction history, transfer money between FNB accounts, create recipients and pay them, pay traffic fines, buy prepaid airtime for customers or someone else on any mobile network, buy SMS and data bundles, buy prepaid electricity or play LOTTO.

Break the cash habit

Sankar and Du Plessis have the following tips for customers to break the habit of carrying cash and start benefiting from Cellphone Banking:

  • Don’t withdraw all or most of your cash once your salary has been paid, instead use Cellphone Banking or your bank card to make purchases and payments
  • If you are an FNB Cheque Account or Easy Account customer, rather withdraw cash through Cash @ Till??? in any Checkers, Shoprite, Pick n Pay and Boxer stores as this withdrawal is free
  • Let people know that you will no longer be paying them in cash but that you will be paying the money into their account using eWallet or Cellphone Banking
  • Buy yourself a smaller purse/wallet that can carry mostly cards and only a few bank notes for emergencies
  • Budget ahead: calculate for which activities (transport for example) you need cash and withdraw only that amount for every two weeks of the month. Carry only the right amount for the week and leave the rest at home so that you don’t spend it on other items

“Banking from your phone is much more convenient and a sure way to save you time and money,” concludes Sankar.

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