FNB partners with Selpal help resolve Financial Inclusion


Foreign stores in Rockville Soweto reopened in Soweto after days of violence and widespread looting last month. Photo: Matthews Baloyi / ANA / African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – First National Bank (FNB) today announced a partnership with Selpal, a FinTech South Africa company that operates specifically in the municipality and informal economy, or the "Invisible Economy".

Michael Vacy-Lyle, executive director of FNB Business, said: "With 50% of South Africa's urban population living in municipalities, the ecosystem that sustains these communities ensures a significantly greater focus on the banking sector. the "Invisible Economy" – the space of opportunities that most call the informal sector or the economy of the municipio.These companies range from survival companies to highly organized and considerable SME operations. In FNB Business, we believe that this segment the South African economy was ignored for too long. "

Statistics show that there are about 30 to 40 enterprises per thousand people in the municipalities. FNB estimates that this translates into about 800,000 to 1 million companies.

Most of these are survival companies, with about 300,000 entities representing employing three or more people. The FNB believes that these businesses are underserved from a banking perspective, mainly because money is the predominant form of payment for them.

"Access to financial services is critical to the growth of any economy and these companies should be included in the financial system. The transactional bank, investments, loans and insurance opportunities exist in this invisible space, "said Vacy-Lyle.

Selpal is a unique technology start-up company that has developed an integrated system that connects informal retailers such as spaza shops with suppliers of FMCG (fast consumer goods), wholesalers and brands.

The user-centered platform has been designed and built using direct observations, commitments and understanding of the issues that many users experience throughout the FMCG value chain in the informal, consumer-to-consumer sector.

Stephen Goldberg, executive director and co-founder of Selpal, said: "Selpal is an agnostic virtual distribution platform that electronically enables the way products are ordered, paid and sold in the unseen economy. Using proprietary hardware and software that we have developed, we are creating a network of merchants from partner stores that equip with a Selpal POS device that allows viewing, ordering, paying and selling stocks and value added. without store owners having to leave the store and unlock extra revenue for them. It also changes the way your customers buy, extending the benefits and extra value to the end consumer. Our partnership with FNB Business will help us expand our network and drive our growth. Each Selpal store will provide a potential service point for financial access and inclusion. The FNB partnership brings credibility and access to FNB's significant expertise in financial regulation and payment infrastructure, which will bring value to all participants in our ecosystem. "

Most municipalities have businesses operating in the following major industries:

  1. Retailing of groceries / "spaza stores" and the supply of high-speed consumer goods;
  2. Taverns / Shebeens;
  3. Hair care;
  4. Motor and mobile repair and service;
  5. Educare; and
  6. Micro manufacturing

In due course, FNB, together with Selpal, intends to meet the needs of all these sectors.

The greatest opportunity presents itself in the space of the FMCG – retail stores and other retailers. These companies tend to employ three or more people but are largely managed on a cash basis and are often without a bank account. There is a clear need to provide economical and secure financial solutions for this space.

"The Selpal system offers a unique value proposition for almost all participants in the FMCG value chain; from brand owners to wholesalers, distributors, retailers to end consumers, and now with the partnership of FNB, we are planning to expand our integrated ordering and payment functionality, which will make it easier and safer for all these participants, further removing the cashier . Goldberg said.

FNB Business's mission is to provide significant and relevant solutions to help support and develop business in the informal or "Invisible Economy" of South Africa, including companies operating within municipalities.

Jesse Weinberg, head of the FNBBusiness small and medium business segment, said: "We have worked on various strategies over the past 18 months to really help make a difference to the informal business market in South Africa. Selpal's business model is a great option to allow such a strategy, the integration of FMCG value chains not only reduce cash as a payment instrument in the economy, but in doing so, include such informal businesses in formal financial services. world; offering them real value, efficiencies, helping them manage risk and reduce costs in their business. "

The partnership between Selplal and FNB goes beyond creating efficiencies and withdrawing money in these markets. At its core, this partnership is focused on better understanding and servicing microenterprises in municipalities with a view to raising communities and promoting financial inclusion. This includes finding a relevant and efficient way to reach businesses and consumers to promote financial inclusion.

"Our plan is to help grow and then leverage Selpal's presence in municipalities across the country to offer even more financial services to this" Invisible Economy "in the form of transactional resources and financial services products. The partnership aims to disrupt years of historical systems that have kept businesses in the financially excluded informal and city markets, and that means a new and unique approach in connecting all parts of the ecosystem, "Weinberg said.



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