Wondering whether to sign up for mobile statements for your banking, insurance, medical, retail and other services? Read on…
It’s one of life’s little pokes in the eye. Somehow, notices of speeding fines and other traffic violations always seem to find their way into our postboxes. That Christmas card from Auntie Violet with R200 tucked inside, however? Not so much. A recent letter to the Mail & Guardian expresses the frustration that is common to many South Africans: “There is a mountain of unprocessed mail-in Johannesburg, and the Post Office lacks the necessary staff and funds to process it. Post Office employees have informed addressees that they can expect to wait six weeks or more for the delivery.”
South Africa does have a somewhat complex and unique set of challenges when it comes to residential addresses. A paper released by the University of Pretoria identifies some of the key issues:
- Security Estates: property developers market and sell property in security estates under names that are different from the registered name. Take the Centurion Golf Estate and Woodhill in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, for example. The Centurion Golf Estate is registered at the Surveyor-General’s office as Highveld Extensions 7 and 10, whereas Woodhill is registered as Pretoriuspark Extensions 1, 6 and 8.
- Farms in Rural Areas: The owner of a farm is free to use whatever name they like for the farm. All they have to do is put it on a sign posted at its entrance. This makes it extremely difficult to verify the validity of the address.
- Rural Villages: The South African Post Office is trying to provide formal addresses for all rural houses. But this is an ongoing process and as yet, there isn’t a national database. This again makes verifying validity very difficult.
Mobile Statements Are The Answer
As you can see, delivery post to homes and dwellings in South Africa is not always easy. Important documents and other statements are often delivered very late, or not at all. Email statements are a valid solution for people with a smartphone and/or computer. But this still doesn’t help the vast majority of people in South Africa, as only a little over eight percent of South Africans own a personal computer.
Mobile phones, on the other hand, enjoy a far wider reach, with 60% of South Africans owning a smartphone, and almost 90% have a cell phone of some kind. With vast areas of the country having no access to a wired telephone system, mobile phones are the communication medium of choice. In fact, as George Kalebaila, director for telecoms and Internet of Things in Africa at the IDC points, mobile services penetration in South African is saturated.
“Stats SA data shows cellphone penetration of 87% at a household level,” he says. “But if you take into account the prevalence of multiple devices per household, penetration is around 149%. Any way you read it, mobile is the de facto connectivity option in the country.”
This is why sending financial and other statements to customers’ mobile phones is the most reliable way to ensure they actually get delivered.
Benefits Of Mobile Statements
Over and above ensuring delivery, using mobile statements for legal notices, policy updates, bills, payslips and other confidential documents has many advantages:
- Secure – unlike a mailed document that could be opened by unauthorised people, a mobile statement can only be accessed by the intended recipient. You either have to log in to open the statement or type in a password to open the document. This helps to significantly reduce the risk of identity theft.
- Environmentally friendly – mobile statements use fewer resources and less energy to produce than paper statements. They also help reduce clutter and paper waste.
- Customisable – mobile statements can be tailor-made to suit the needs of your particular business and are customisable for each customer’s mobile device.
- Instant delivery – unlike postal mail that could take weeks to arrive, mobile statements enjoy immediate delivery.
- Trackable – it’s impossible to know whether or not a mailed statement ever reached the intended recipient. With mobile statements, on the other hand, you can not only track delivery, but request read receipts too.
- Compliance – mobile statements comply with SARS and other legal requirements.
Mobile statements are ideal for a wide variety of industries, including:
- Financial services (statements, collection notices etc.)
- Insurance (policies, renewal notices)
- Medical (statements)
- Retail (account and loyalty statements, promotions)
- Government (utility bills)
- Corporates (payslips)
Cellfind is a leading mobile technology solutions company offering tailored Mobile applications to a wide range of clients in Southern Africa. To find out more about our mobile statements options, chat to us today.