Banking 'the unbanked'

Nthabisang Moreosele

Nthabisang Moreosele

The Postbank has notched up an impressive 40percent market share of the Mzansi Card, bringing the number of card holders to more than two million.

The general manager business development of Postbank, Enoch Malisa, said Postbank has a high reputation for reliability.

Malisa said this had helped it to garner this impressive share of the "unbanked people" of South Africa.

The Postbank is part of the services rendered to the public by the Post Office.

The Post Office has a business unit, a mail division, a courier services and the savings bank.

The Mzansi Card is not unique to the Post Office. It is a project begun under the auspices of the government to include the number of people who were unbanked and therefore did not have access to credit and savings.

"The Postbank is popular because we have responded to what our market needs," Malisa added.

"There are more post offices around the country than all the banks combined. This means that we are able to reach more people than the banks.

"Postbank has been there for a long time and has a good reputation. People trust us. We still have customers who have Postbank books -the old kind - and we still cater for them. They form a huge part of our product range. The Mzansi Card project is very simplified and affordable."

Malisa said the Mzansi Card was popular with the public because the bank gave its customers what they wanted by communicating with them.

"We understand what they want and understand our market. We also have an exposure in the rural areas and these need simple banking. This account is available to everyone - children, the youth and pensioners," Malisa said.

The South African Savings Institute said there is still a large population of unbanked people who still need to be brought into the banking system.

"Our strategy is to take the bank to the people and to reach out to those who need our services," Malisa said.

The Mzansi Card account can be opened for only R10 and there is no balance or limit required. Unlike banks, the Mzansi Card does not have service fees.

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