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R12.8bn sent via FNB’s eWallet in six months

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FNB has revealed that consumers have sent over R12.8 billion worth of eWallet funds from 22 million eWallet transactions processed between July and December 2018. This is a 25% year on year increase in the value of funds that consumers have sent via eWallet.

In addition, the Bank says its eWallet eXtra mobile bank account is also gaining momentum after amassing over 120 000 customers in less than six months after its official launch to customers in the second half of 2018. Transaction volumes on eWallet eXtra surpassed 680 000 by December 2018.

Chief Executive of FNB Consumer, Dr Christoph Nieuwoudt says the growing take up of eWallet and eWallet eXtra reflects consumers’ appetite for more efficient means of banking.

“eWallet remains the best solution in the market for consumers who simply want to send and receive funds. However, our relatively new eWallet eXtra mobile bank account which can be taken up using any cellphone, offers consumers the ability to hold a digital account without paying the traditional account fee. More importantly, eWallet eXtra allows users to perform several functions including buying airtime, data bundles, electricity and goods at selected SPAR stores directly from their cellphone without a card,” he says.

The wide range of use friendly features is one of the compelling reasons for consumers to increasingly use eWallet eXtra. This is complemented by features which provide users with full control by generating a PIN code to safely access their digital account. The mobile account has a daily spend limit of R3 000 and R24 000 per month, while cash withdrawals can be made at FNB ATMs or over the counter at participating SPAR stores and FNB acquired merchants.

In an increasingly competitive market for more efficient banking solutions, FNB is better positioned to compete, says Dr Nieuwoudt. “We offer a far more comprehensive range of banking solutions for the South African market and this means consumers have a wider range of solutions to choose from, which addresses their individual needs,” he concludes.

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Car buyers to start abandoning fuel-power by 2025

Car buyers in the United States and Europe expect electric vehicles to become a viable alternative to fuel-powered cars in the next five years.

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A new report outlining consumer expectations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and their viability as replacements for traditional fuel-powered cars or internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles suggests a massive shift beginning in 2025.

The conclusion emerges from a report by human behaviour and analytics firm Escalent, entitled The Future of BEV: How to Capture the Hearts and Minds of Consumers. It reveals the intent of many consumers in the United States and Europe to abandon ICE vehicles altogether, citing the improved infrastructure and range of BEVs.

The Future of BEV gives auto and mobility manufacturers a strategic view of the benefits of their products in the eyes of consumers and highlights the areas of opportunity for automakers to push the innovation boundaries of BEVs to spur broad adoption of the technology.

“While most buyers don’t plan to choose BEVs over gasoline-powered cars within the next five years, consumers have told us there is a clear intention to take BEVs seriously in the five years that follow,” says Mark Carpenter, joint managing director of Escalent’s UK office. “However, manufacturers will need to tap into the emotional value of BEVs rather than just the rational and functional aspects to seize on that intent and inspire broader consumer adoption.”

The study demonstrates a significant shift in consumers’ expectations that BEVs will become viable alternatives to—and competitors with—ICE vehicles over the coming decade. Though 70% of Americans plan to buy a gasoline-powered car within the next year, just 37% expect to make that same purchase in five to ten years. Similarly, while 50% of European consumers favour buying vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel in the near-term, that figure drops to just 23% in five to ten years.

At the same time, consumers on both sides of the Atlantic see BEV adoption rising to 36% in Europe and 16% in the US, with respondents also indicating intent to purchase hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars.

Infrastructure clearly continues to be one of the biggest barriers to adoption. While some work is being done in Europe as well as in the US, the data show there is a significant need for some players to take ownership if manufacturers want to move the needle on BEV adoption.

US and European consumers have stark differences in opinion as to which entities they believe are primarily responsible for providing BEV charging stations. American consumers consider carmakers (45%) the primary party responsible, followed by fuel companies, local government/transport authorities, and the national government in fourth. On the other hand, European consumers view the national government (29%) as the primary party responsible for providing BEV infrastructure, followed by carmakers, local government/transport authorities and fuel companies.

For a full copy of the report, visit https://landing.escalent.co/download-the-future-of-bev.

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New cell phone to help with dementia and memory loss

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A new cell phone that takes simplicity to the extreme is designed to address the unique needs of people with dementia and other forms of memory loss. The RAZ Memory Cell Phone, developed by RAZ Mobility, a provider of mobile assistive technology, was launched this week. The handset is also well-suited for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s dementia, with one in ten people over the age of 65 diagnosed with the disease. The number of people with dementia is expected to increase rapidly as the proportion of the population 65 and older increases. The American Psychiatric Association reports that approximately one percent of the population has an intellectual disability.

The RAZ Memory Cell Phone consists of one primary screen, and one screen only. It is always on and includes pictures and names of up to six contacts and a button to call 911. That’s it! There are no applications or settings to cause confusion. No notifications or operating system updates. No distractions. Users can simply tap and hold the picture of the person they wish to call.

Caregivers manage the RAZ Memory Cell Phone through a simple online portal. The portal is used to create and edit the contacts, track the location of the phone/user and select certain options, such as the option to restrict incoming calls to people in the user’s contacts, thereby avoiding unwanted calls such as predatory robocalls.

The RAZ Memory Cell Phone can now be ordered at https://www.razmobility.com/solutions/memory-cellphone/.

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