South Africans are offered online payments by cellphone

Digital Content

Internet Solutions (IS), together with FNB, have launched a service where hotspot access-time payments can be made using a cell phone.

Cell Pay Point is the new online payment solution from FNB that allows its customers to pay an online merchant using their cellphone. What this means is that customers registered for FNB's cellphone banking can use Cell Pay Point to purchase goods online directly from any of their transactional accounts. Users can use Cell Pay Point on any of the registered merchants' websites.

Justin Spratt, manager FMC and hotspots for IS, says that Cell Pay Point is easy to use and the purchase of Hotspot access time is now on offer to more than 700 000 FNB customers.

“Online purchasing has to date been limited to people with credit cards, excluding a wide base of other bank customers,” says Len Pienaar, CEO of FNB's mobile and transact solutions division.

“FNB's Cell Pay Point brings all FNB bank account customers into the digital economy, as well as addressing some of the security concerns in the marketplace.”

However, consumers will have to wait for broad access, as the Cell Pay Point solution requires vendors to sign up with the bank before the service is available on their website.

When Cell Pay Point, FNB’s online payment solution, is chosen as the payment mechanism, the vendor displays a dial string which the customer dials. The customer is authenticated by their mobile PIN, and the purchase is confirmed by the handset without disclosing any banking or personal details.

The payment is processed real-time with both customer and vendor receiving instant notification. The customer is then provided with the purchased goods, in this case a username and password, to access the IS WiFi hotspot network. The IS WiFi hotspot network is available at over 600 locations countrywide.

“Cellular is an important channel for FNB as it is pretty much pervasive throughout SA. We have been pleasantly surprised by the adoption of cellular banking by our entry-level customers too. We intend to grow on this success through broadening access and continuing to focus on innovation as a key performance indicator,” says Pienaar.

There is also good news for customers who wont be charged bank fees for goods purchased using Cell Pay Point.