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Instant Money gains 70k new customers monthly

Digital money transfers are becoming South Africa’s main method of transferring cash across the country.

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Digital money transfers are becoming South Africa’s main method of transferring cash across the country. Volumes of transferred money climb at the end of each month, during long weekends, school holidays and during traditional peak holiday seasons.

Standard Bank offers the Instant Money transfer service at more than 6500 access points across the country.

Nelisa Zulu, head of Merchant Solutions at Standard Bank, attributes the growth in money transfer transactions to the fact that South Africans, including those without formal bank accounts, are becoming comfortable with digital banking services.

Month-on-month, Standard Bank is seeing 70 000 new customers using the Instant Money service.

“We are finding that Instant Money is particularly popular with people living in the cities who wish to transfer money to family members in rural areas. The fact that the money sent can be collected at Standard Bank ATMs or other designated collection points within most communities makes it more convenient than other forms of payment in the country which take time to be complete,” says Ms Zulu.

Transaction volumes on the Standard Bank Mobile App continue to grow more than 70% year-on-year, with average user transaction values having increased from under R500 to over R700 in the last few years. Holiday periods like Easter and Christmas holidays see an increase in value and volumes of Instant Money transactions, with KZN and the Eastern Cape being the biggest recipients of Instant Money vouchers.

Instant Money enables customers to transfer money safely and conveniently at a fraction of the cost. Average costs are between R 9.95 and R12.50 per transaction, with no fee to the beneficiary. More than R60 billion has been processed since the inception of Instant Money.

Zulu says: “We are also seeing a big increase in Instant Money for Businesses with annual growth of over 100%. Bulk Instant Money allows businesses of any size to disburse funds through the Instant Money platform to any person in real-time.  Recipients don’t need a bank account and can collect their funds at a date and time of their convenience. We have examples where businesses had payment challenges and, at short notice, had to pay more than 2 000 employees. Instant Money Bulk payments were utilised to facilitate this transfer of funds.”

The flexibility of the Instant Money service is also an advantage. It offers benefits which include:

  • Providing cash to people who are ‘unbanked’ and need money for their daily activities;
  • Having instant access to cash when there is an emergency;
  • Being able to make payments to people without knowing their banking details; and,
  • Distance is not a factor which influences payment reliability.

Accessing Instant Money is possible through online banking, mobile app, cell phone banking or at Standard Bank ATM’s or retail partners, making Instant Money the most accessible money transfer in the country based on a variety of locations.

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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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