Pandemic helps fuel contactless payments

Johannesburg- FNB says the pandemic is helping to fuel the adoption of contactless payments such as smart device payments, QR Code (Scan to Pay) and ‘Tap to Pay’ whilst reliance on cash declines yearly.

The bank has seen a 1,000% year-on-year growth in payments via smart devices on FNB Pay supported digital wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit, and Garmin, as well as FNB Virtual Cards. The value of payments processed through QR Code (Scan to Pay) is up 40%, and ‘Tap to Pay’ on FNB physical cards is up 85% year-on-year. Cash withdrawals, on the other hand, have decreased by 11%, indicating that customers are becoming less reliant on cash.

FNB Retail CEO, Raj Makanjee, says, “We’re delighted to be enabling this migration by offering our customers a wider choice of industry-leading payment solutions on our digital platform. New ways to pay allow consumers, merchants, and providers to improve safety and convenience in the payment ecosystem. Furthermore, the growth trend confirms our view that digital is central to the future of payments and we are encouraged by the sustained levels of adoption amongst our customers.”

Notwithstanding the positive momentum, there is still a massive opportunity to further minimise reliance on cash as it still accounts for a significant portion of overall payments in the industry. To this end, we encourage our customers who do not use smart devices to tap or swipe their cards when making payments, where it is possible to do so. Where cash is a real need, our customers can conveniently get Free Cash@Till® at Checkers, Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Boxer and selected Spar stores.

Recently, FNB revealed that its customers can also make secure contactless payments at Zapper enabled merchants across the country through the Scan to Pay feature on the FNB and RMB Private Bank apps.

This means its customers can conveniently pay by scanning QR codes from all the major QR code providers in South Africa using the Scan to Pay feature on their banking App. This collaboration bodes well for the interoperability of QR Code payments in South Africa.

FNB offers a wider choice of free real-time payments between FNB customers as well as incentives like free eWallet sends per month for qualifying Retail customers. In 2011, FNB launched Pay2Cell on Cellphone Banking, which is now available on the FNB App. Pay2Cell enables FNB customers to instantly pay one another by simply entering or selecting a cellphone number from their contacts list. A year later, it introduced GeoPay, allowing its App users to pay each other using their geo-location.

FNB introduced ‘Payment Request’ in June of this year, allowing its customers to request a payment from one another by simply sending ‘please pay me’ via the FNB App or Cellphone Banking. A customer can create a payment request by entering the payer’s cellphone number, amount, and reference.

Once notified, the ‘payer’ only needs to confirm the payment with no need to capture banking details, amount, or reference; and customers don’t need to be in close proximity to complete the transaction. The ‘please pay me’ feature is useful for friends and family, and domestic workers can request their salary, while children can request money from their parents.


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