Mobile money such as M-Pesa in Kenya hasn’t really ever taken off in South Africa, but a new product from FNB might change that.

eWallet eXtra is set to launch by June of this year and promises a simple sign-up process and no monthly fees without having to enter an FNB branch.

Applicants 16 years and older will need their name, surname and ID number to apply for an eWallet eXtra account on their smart or feature phone.

“eWallet eXtra will enable users to send or receive deposits from individuals and other banks, store funds for an unlimited period, pay accounts and also buy prepaid products like airtime, data and electricity. Users can also on send to other recipients and withdraw at any FNB ATM or at tills across participating SPAR stores, which also allow for over the counter purchases,” FNB head of transaction products for the mass market, Gugu Zikhali, said in a statement.

The bank says that as many as one million eWallet users were using the service as a bank account which led to the creation of eWallet eXtra.

“We believe that eWallet eXtra is the ideal solution to address this important gap and based on the analysis of our customer base and research on financial inclusion, we estimate the size of this market to be in excess of 11 million,” said FNB Easy chief executive officer Pieter Woodhatch.

For those concerned about security, users will be able to generate a PIN to access their account, much like they do at the moment. FNB also states that debit order functionality will not form part of eWallet eXtra.

FNB adds that customers using an FNB Connect SIM will be able to access eWallet eXtra for free.

While M-Pesa didn’t really get off the ground, eWallet has notably because it’s simple. Users are able to receive and withdraw money easily which is most likely why over one million people have been using it as a bank account.

We’re excited to see where this service goes when its launched later this year, perhaps FNB can mobile money right.