Although banking remotely has been gaining ground in South Africa long before the lockdown, the limitations on physical movement imposed by the lockdown have given online and mobile banking a significant boost.

The current environment will most likely see more people opt for digital banking platforms.

This is confirmed by a recent Nielsen syndicated study on the impact of Covid-19 on consumer behaviour in South Africa, which reports that 37% of South Africans say they are shopping and transacting more online.

“Apart from being more convenient, digital banking and shopping are cheaper than traditional channels. The lockdown and its effect on the economy has made consumers more conscious of costs, and has increased the appeal of affordable solutions such as the Old Mutual Money Account, which costs only R4.95 per month and does not charge for card payments and online purchases,” Head of Business Development at Old Mutual Will Mason said.

Rated by the SA Retail Banking diagnostic report as one of the most affordable, low cost transactional accounts in South Africa, the Old Mutual Money Account enables seamless digital transacting while enabling customers to instantly invest.

The account is linked to a money market unit trust, this enables customers to save a percentage of their spend through the unique Swipe and Save feature. Each time the user swipes/taps their card, the desired savings amount is automatically transferred to the “save” pocket and invested into a money market unit trust account. Customers can set their Swipe and Save anywhere between 1-15 % or can choose to turn it off altogether (i.e. 0%).

This means if you set your Swipe & Save to 10% and swipe or tap your card for purchases that cost R100, another R10 will be automatically transferred for you from your Swipe Account into your Save Account. The aim of the product is to help South Africans across the income spectrum become “instant investors” by encouraging simple, automatic savings that can be accessed easily when needed.

“Not only does this give customers a regular, convenient way of saving, it also puts them in complete control of how much they save,” says Mason.

The Money Account is one of the few low cost banking products that combines a transactional account (which makes transacting simple, secure, and affordable) and an investment account, offering not just basic savings, but money market unit trust returns, even from the very first cent invested (there are no minimum or maximum amount restrictions on the Unit Trust). Every customer can be an investor.

“Remote banking enables you to manage your finances effectively in the palm of your hand. Online and mobile banking used to be largely about personal convenience; now it’s about personal safety and saving more on banking fees too,” adds Mason.

In an effort to support our customers through the lockdown period, all prepaid purchases – airtime, data and electricity – including digital transactions on the Old Mutual Money Account App and USSD platforms are free during the lockdown period.  In addition, external EFT payments via these digital platforms are also free. We encourage customers to shift behaviour, stay safe and transact digitally wherever possible.