Over 3.5 million set to benefit – Absa launches new mobile service
17 November 2008
A new mobile service to bring greater control and convenience to millions of its clients, has been launched by the largest retail banking group – Absa.
Over 3.5 million Absa clients using the SMS messaging service, NotifyMe, can now request instant balance enquiries and statements, as well as purchase prepaid cellular airtime, from their cellular handset.
�Clients will now be able to request the account information they need, whenever they want. It�s a quick and easy way to stay in control of one’s personal finances,� explains Christo Vrey, Managing Executive of Absa Digital Channels.
Clients are able to interact with the Bank at great speed when choosing the options that they would like to use. Retrieving one�s balances, for instance, takes just a matter of seconds.
These instant exchanges are made possible with technology known as USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data). By dialling *120*2272#, the requested information (a balance or a statement) will be sent immediately to the client via SMS, at a nominal cost of 45 cents.
To ensure safe and secure interactions on the USSD platform, clients are asked to choose a PIN code, which they will be prompted to enter each time they access the service.
�There is no need to visit the branch to register for this service, it is done with a very simple registration process via the cellphone,� notes Vrey.
Offering clients the ability to purchase instant prepaid airtime whenever and wherever they choose, says Vrey, will take away any of the hassles of recharging one�s cellphone.
�Our clients using full-service Cellphone Banking have shown that there is clearly great demand for airtime-on-the-go, and we�re now extending that service to NotifyMe clients.�
Since the launch of Cellphone Banking in 2000, Absa has grown the suite of mobile services, for various customer requirements. From simple SMS notifications to a broad range of transactional functions, most day-to-day banking can now be done from one�s cellphone.
With a vast geography and large sections of the population living far from traditional banking infrastructure, South Africa has long been touted as a perfect market for cellphone banking to flourish as a financial services tool – the country is estimated to have 38 million cellular subscribers.
�In line with the promise to bring banking to the underbanked via the cellphone, we hope that the new service will familiarise clients with the concept of mobile financial interactions, bringing them towards full-service Cellphone Banking in time,� adds Vrey.