FNB launches ‘mini-ATMs’

FNB launches ‘mini-ATMs’

Rose Moremoholo

MASERU

BRINGING the bank to the unbanked is what will keep the financial banking system afloat for many years to come, according to First National Bank (FNB) Lesotho.
The FNB’s deputy CEO, Mokhachane Mopeli, said this as he launched a Slim Line Device which he said will change the banking world.
A Slim Line Device is a mini ATM that a retailer can own so that customers can have full access to the bank right inside a shop.
The device can be used to check statements, make transfers but does not issue cash.

The Slim Line Device does everything a normal ATM would do, withdrawals and transfers, airtime and electricity purchase, change of pin and application of an account.
A customer who needs to withdraw money will insert his or her card in the machine and follow instructions just as they would on an ATM.
After the withdrawal the machine will give a slip to the customer and they will present the slip to the retailer. “This device benefits both the businessmen and their customers because the retailer banks his money by giving it out to those that withdraw,” Mopeli said. Mopeli said this technology will help address an initiative by the government to bring banking services to the unbanked. “We are making banking easier for all. Now the retailer needs not to have loads of cash with him while he waits to travel to the nearest bank to make deposits,” Mopeli said. “This way of banking puts the retailer at risk because some even travel long distances to get to a bank but with Slim Line, the money withdrawn is debited into the retailer’s account and credited to the withdrawer’s account,” he said.

“We will place the Slim Line Device at places that don’t have a footprint of the traditional ATM.”
Mopeli said this system is a “no queue no charge system” because the retailer will have avoided long queues to deposit money and even avoid deposit charges.
He said this is also meant to be a crowd puller to businessmen because they can sell goods and provide money to their customers.
“We are helping businessmen to not keep lots of money with them and for those that need bank transactions to travel to the ATM or the nearest bank,” Mopeli said.
Martin Knollys, the CEO said the system will allow non-FNB cardholders to use the device through the e-wallet transaction.

“One can buy electricity, airtime and cash out the remainder to use at the retail shop or can purchase goods first and pay through the Slim Line Device,” Knollys said.
Knollys said only 10 of the devices have been piloted and more are to come depending on the demand of the system by retailers.
“It is less expensive to deploy a thousand Slim Line Devices than to have to deploy a bank that can cost almost M10 million for construction,” Knollys said.
To own the device, retailers need to meet the minimum requirement set forth by the bank and when they do qualify for a Slim Line Device it is given free.
“This device has been tested and tried in other countries and it has proven to be the best, we know it will work here,” Knollys said.

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