MASERU – Following the introduction of a new mobile banking initiative dubbed Lai Lai by the First National Bank of Lesotho (FNBL), the company has also taken a first step in the market to zero rate all their banking app access on Vodacom.
All Vodacom subscribers can utilise the banking app on their cellphones without any data costs at all.
FNBL is also working towards securing the same deal with Econet Telcom Lesotho (ETL), another mobile network provider, and strides have been made, according to FNB head of retail, Teboho Mhlanga.
Lai Lai is a unique way of solving unique Basotho problems, as it is described by the company as an innovative leading edge distribution strategy. Lai Lai will allow customers to perform card-less withdrawals through cellphone banking or the FNB App as well as withdraw cash at an agent.
Free WI-FI has been introduced to all FNB branches to allow customers to download the banking app and get assistance to use it at any of their branches.
“Most of our banking franchises are located in the lowlands of the country while a lot of our population is situated in the highlands of Lesotho.
“So access to services is a lot of times hindered by the landscape and accessibility, especially during the winter month which is why FNB Lesotho has come up with a solution that will allow Basotho to transact on their mobile devices either on the FNB app or through cellphone banking,” Mhlanga said at the launch on Wednesday this week.
The solution is the first of its kind in Lesotho’s banking sector.
Mhlanga reiterated that the initiative is also designed to foster financial inclusion by bringing banking services and solutions to both business and individual customers throughout the country.
It is a solution that will be delivered through FNB business banking customers who are typically cash heavy, but through this new born baby, their cash handling challenges will be solved as individual customers will be allowed to perform withdrawals at the business tills and deposits should they require to do so.
The introduction of Lai Lai means individuals will no longer have to go to a branch or bother to find an FNB ATM to make cash withdrawals or deposits.
“Individuals are able to cash out FNB eWallet transactions not only at ATMs but also as Cash Plus Agents. The eWallet send is free to any number in Lesotho for all customers on bundled pricing and the recipient will be able to redeem the wallet for free at any agent if withdrawn as one amount,” Mhlanga noted.
Lai Lai is currently active in three districts of Leribe, Maseru and Mafeteng, however the company revealed that the service will expand to all the other districts of the country.
Lai Lai in Sesotho means ‘doing things very fast’, the very reason why FNB has introduced the new app.