30% in additional cash accounted for through use of tech

March 01, 2017

Financial institutions are experiencing an increase of 30% on average in accountable cash when collecting in-field payments for funeral cover using EasiPol.

Millions of unbanked South Africans make monthly cash payments to maintain their funeral policy. And when using paper-based receipting, it is easy for payments to go ‘missing’, meaning the industry was open to theft and fraud before EasiPol was launched to combat this problem.

Since its launch in 2010, EasiPol has been securing cash payments in the field for companies across Africa, and it has discovered that financial institutions are accounting an additional 30% in revenue post-deployment.

Broader financial inclusion was negotiated in 2004 as part of the Black Economic Empowerment Act and signed between the South African financial sector and government, to reduce inequalities in access to finance. In 2014, it was reported that only 53% of the South African population are banked with one of South Africa’s banks.

As part of these efforts to make financial products widely available and affordable, teamed with the importance of funerals within the culture, funeral insurance premiums start from as little as R29 a month and are extensively advertised and sold. “It’s no surprise then that more than half of South Africans have a funeral plan,” explains Chris Ogden, RubiBlue MD and the brains behind EasiPol. “Collecting premiums by direct debit has made it easier for less scrupulous insurers to take advantage of the less financially literate and first-time consumers of financial products. So, there is little surprise when we hear there is little trust in the banking system and individuals preferring to operate on a cash basis.”

Although handing over cash is more trusted in rural and developing South African communities, it has its downside, which is why the sector needed to use technology to accept, process and audit for payments. “From a consumer perspective, they trust their premium is recorded and accounted for, and organisations reduce theft, fraud and have an audit trail, which makes them compliant with the FSB,” adds Ogden.

For more information on EasiPol, visit www.easipol.co.za.

1. Based on the statistics from FinScope South Africa, and does not include individuals using SASSA to access grant payments.