Enterprises such as Ram Thapa's (a beauty shop and fast-food outlet) with combined annual turnover of 19 million rand (~$1.3 million) but no business account is attracting the interest of tech enabled banks.
FNB plans to attract unbanked businesses onto its books by first getting them to use fintech firm Selpal. The bank acquired an undisclosed stake in the company late last year. Selpal connects local stores with suppliers via software and tablets. Once a customer is using Selpal, FNB will use the data it collects to offer them an account with, for example, an overdraft attached. The bank is launching a business account in October with zero monthly fees though customers will pay as they use a range of transactions. In order to succeed, FNB will have to overcome a strong attachment to cash-only transactions, general mistrust of banks, paperwork problems and low margins.