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Mobile banking goes to the people

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Capitec, a retail bank listed on the JSE, has introduced a mobile bank targeting the lower income bracket.

"We believe it`s an innovative approach to make banking more accessible to our clients," says Carl Fischer, CE of marketing at Capitec.

The mobile unit, used by banking consultants, is a portable aluminium case that contains a notebook, mouse, 3G data card, Webcam camera, magnetic strip/chip card reader with a PIN pad, biometric fingerprint reader and a multifunctional laser printer.

Fischer explains the product is targeted at people living in townships, remote areas and urban fringe areas, who are often illiterate and dependent on public transport. The solution, he says, allows a banking consultant to visit such clients and open bank accounts for them within about 10 minutes.

The client`s details are entered onto the system, a picture is taken and a PIN code generated. The information is then sent using a 3G data card to connect a mobile consultant via mobile infrastructure directly to the data network.

The information is processed in real-time and a bank card is then issued to the client. "This is in line with Capitec`s philosophy to use technology to keep costs low, while making banking more affordable and accessible," says Fischer.

Riaan Stassen, CEO of Capitec, explains: "The backbone of Capitec`s system is Bancs, developed by Australian company, Financial Network Systems."

Bancs is a multi-currency, multi-entity universal banking solution with an integrated front-end delivery channel. The system offers product launching capability and support for all delivery channels. Bancs has an open architecture, which provides a high-level of integration, flexibility and scalability across all platforms, says Capitec.

"The system is widely used in Australasia, with the largest implementation being at the State Bank of India. We also use Postilion, which is a transaction switch utilised worldwide in ATM and POS networks," says Stassen.

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