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FNB to Share South African Mobile Money Success at MMT Africa

Nairobi, Kenya, March 25, 2011 --( South Africa has made an important contribution to the mobile money transfer industry and the country’s banks have been highly participatory when it comes to developing mobile banking and mobile money solutions. This is according to Yolande Van Wyk, CEO: Smart Services at the South African banking giant First National Bank (FNB). She is part of a distinguished list of industry experts who will address the annual MMT Africa conference and expo from 10-11 May in Nairobi, Kenya.

Recent Mobility Research has shown that FNB’s eWallet is currently the largest mobile money initiative in South Africa. It comes second only to the counter-to-counter money transfer services offered by the supermarket chain Shoprite Checkers and Capitec Bank.

South Africa is relatively well covered by banks

According to FNB’s Yolande Van Wyk, the fact that the South African economy comprises of a very strong first world and a large third world component provides the bank with “enablers as well as some interesting challenges.” She says: “Other than deep rural areas, South Africa is relatively well covered by the presence of banks, branches and ATMs. On the other hand, 40% still needs to be banked. The biggest problem in SA is the increasing joblessness – which means people just don’t have money to bank.”

Yolande Van Wyk continues: “Another big reason for this is the fact that income is inconsistent, and not many bank products cater for customers who have intermittent or seasonal income (one such product is FNB’s Smart Zero account). Also, 41% of South Africans are dependent on family members to provide an income to them.”

She says these conditions present the opportunity for First National Bank to provide services that address easy ways to send and receive money (like the FNB eWallet), creating bank products that are easy to open and maintain and to further leverage of mobile phones.

Other top industry experts who will address recent market developments at MMT Africa include:

· Betty Mwangi-Thuo, Chief Officer New Products Division, Safaricom
· Tunde Lemo, Deputy Governor, Banking Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria
· Kioko Musyimi, Director Cash Management for East Africa, Citigroup
· Hashim Mukudi, MCommerce Head of Department, Zantel Tanzania
· Snehar Shah, Head of Orange Money, Telkom Kenya
· Benson Wandario, Head Mobile Money Transfer - Distribution, Essar Telecom Kenya
· Jacques Voogt, HOD: Financial Services, Vodacom Tanzania

Event dates:
11-12 May – conference days
10 May – Pre-conference Mobile Money Academy
13 May – Post conference site visit

Contact Information
MMT Africa
Annemarie Roodbol
+27 21 700 3558

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