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Instant Money switches to Unayo

One of the innovative ways through which Standard Bank is deepening financial and digital inclusion, in alignment with the CBE’s initiative, is through the transition from its Instant Money product to Unayo Voucher.

…as Standard Bank adds impetus to efforts for financial and digital inclusion, in Eswatini.

Standard Bank, the biggest bank by assets and customers, continues to align itself with ongoing efforts lead by the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) aimed at promoting financial inclusion, not only as a tool to bolster inclusive socio-economic growth in Eswatini, but also to ensure that no one is left behind when it comes to accessing quality, convenient, affordable, financial services, and products.

With financial and digital inclusion being important national priorities for economic growth, poverty alleviation, addressing gender and economic inequalities, Standard Bank continues to open the window of opportunity for all emaSwati, entrepreneurs, and small enterprises to access banking services, and fully participate in the mainstream economy.

One of the innovative ways through which Standard Bank is deepening financial and digital inclusion, in alignment with the CBE’s initiative, is through the transition from its Instant Money product to Unayo Voucher.

Unayo is a secure bank account that has all the simplicity of a wallet, and the sophistication of banking. This conveniently allows you to send money to any cellphone number, regardless of the Mobile Network Operator you are using.

This forward-looking action is also informed by data released by the Ecofin Agency, following a survey conducted in 2021 which found the five African countries, including the Kingdom of Eswatini, had over 94% mobile phone ownership. That means almost everyone in the population has a mobile phone. It was upon this drive for increased financial and digital inclusion that Unayo was established.

The transition from Instant Money to Unayo Voucher came about as Standard Bank’s response to its clients’ needs which is at the core of the Bank’s digital transformation process. This is one of the ways that the Bank’s services are becoming increasingly client-centric and accessible. Standard Bank Eswatini customers will transact with additional convenience with the transition from Instant Money to Unayo Voucher.

Unayo customers have testified that the Platform is user-friendly, with intuitive features such as self-onboarding, the capability to pay to and receive funds from any local bank account, merchant, and ATM cash-in and cash-out, partial withdrawals, purchasing of value-added services such as electricity and airtime.

Aligned to the financial inclusion strategy and improving access to banking services, the Unayo Voucher is not only accessible at ATMs, but also available at over 2500 participating merchants nationwide.

Clients who were sending Instant Money vouchers will still be able to meet the need and requirement to send money to any individual, using their local cellphone number. The recipient of the funds will, instead, receive an Unayo Voucher.

How it works

Standard Bank’s clients will still use their existing digital channels, namely Online Banking, and Mobile Banking to send an Unayo Voucher, even without registering for an Unayo Account.

Once the transition from Instant Money to Unayo Voucher is fully implemented, the Bank’s clients will be able to send an Unayo Voucher instead of Instant Money from any of their digital banking channels.

Consequently, the recipient will now receive a single SMS notification with the Unayo Voucher and instructions on how to redeem the Voucher via the free Unayo to dial *334# to redeem the voucher. Currently, Instant Money senders must share the Instant Money PIN with the recipient, with this change that will no longer be required. Additionally, Recipients will be able to redeem their Unayo Vouchers at any Standard Bank ATM fully or partially or the nearest Unayo Merchant.

Individuals can also open a lite account in three minutes from the comfort of their own home. Businesses can also open an Unayo account and remit funds nationwide.

Sibusile Sigwane, the Head of Brand and Marketing at Standard Bank said: “From a client experience perspective, this transition is a significant improvement for several reasons. For example, 1 SMS completes the transaction and the recipient can now view and access all the Unayo vouchers that they have received by dialing the USSD code *334#. The Unayo Voucher can be sent to both Unayo accountholders & non-registered individuals. For those who are not registered on Unayo, the Voucher will continue to expire in 30 days - like Instant Money.”

Additional Features

For Unayo Account Holders, the money received will be deposited into their Unayo Accounts, allowing them to access additional features like partial cash withdrawal, sending the money to another cell-phone number, buying electricity and airtime, and paying for goods at any registered Merchant. Previously, customers could only fully withdraw the received funds from a Standard Bank ATM.

Moreover, Unayo Voucher need not wait for the sender to share the Instant Money PIN. Even when the Unayo Voucher SMS has been misplaced, the recipient can always view their open vouchers by dialing *334#. Unayo Voucher recipients will also be able to cash-out at any Standard Bank ATM and registered Unayo Merchants.

Customer Education

Standard Bank has embarked on a comprehensive customer education exercise to ensure that customers are well versed with the transition. Additionally, the transition will not be a hard stop of Instant Money as the Bank will allow for a period where clients adjust to the new ways of sending and receiving money using Unayo Voucher.