The constant advancement in technology world over is making boundaries invisible to the day. Residing in varying time zones is not a problem, neither is saving cash in differing currencies. One can swiftly make cross-border payment, send and receive money from whichever part of the world with just a tap on an app.
With so many innovations taking shape, Absa Bank Uganda recently announced the NovoFX, a mobile application that allows the bank’s retail customers to conveniently make cross-border remittances in different currencies with just their mobile phones and an internet connection.
The app is available to customers on both Android and iOS operating systems, and is an addition to the bank’s list of digital solutions. The key solution it offers is saving you the burden many customers undergo when seeking to make an international transfer.
This involves having to visit a forex bureau to check and get a competitive foreign exchange rate, then to a bank branch to fill a Telegraphic Transfer (TT) form, negotiate a transfer rate then wait up to 4 working days for the transaction to be completed end-to-end.
In this post, we dive deep into the use of the NovoFX app, reviewing its features and how to use it.
Getting started with the NovoFX app
After downloading it, you will be required to select the country from where you will make your transactions, and this requires you to have a registered internet banking account in the particular country. For now, the app is available in Botswana, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia.
Then, you can go ahead and sign up with the app by registering your Absa Internet banking username and password. Upon registration, you should login with the same credentials – after which you should be sent a One Time Pin (OTP) to your phone number to complete the process.
Sending money using the NovoFX app
With the NovoFX app, you can send money from your local currency to any country except those under sanction. These include Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Cuba, and Crimea. At the moment, the app lets you send any of the following 11 currencies: South African Rand, US Dollar, British Pound, Euro, Canadian Dollar, Kenyan Shillings, Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, Danish Krone, Australian Dollar, and the Tanzanian Shilling.
As a regulatory requirement, you are mandated to enter a reason for payment for international transactions. In the event that you need to upload documents during the transaction, the app lets you these from your phone or Dropbox, as well as the ability to capture photos using your camera.
Live Exchange rates
The beauty about the NovoFX app is that, unlike the physical forex bureau, it gives you exchange rates in real time. This means that you can always hang on for the rate to come down to your favour then go on to complete a transaction.
You can easily check how your local currency fares against any of the available 11 currencies and even get advice on the charges involved in sending the particular amount – be it a sole or shared responsibility.
Safety and security
The key detail always asked about when it comes to cross-border transactions, especially those over mobile apps, is security. It is always a relief and comforting being in the know that the app you are using will keep your transactions and account safe and instantly secure. The NovoFX app employs a number of mechanisms to prevent any cases of theft and online fraud threats.
In the back-end (where you won’t see), a series of firewalls are in place to ensure that only you can access your account – when you input the username and password. The app is also built on an advanced encryption foundation to ensure that any transaction data between the app and the bank are kept intact when transmitted.
On the front-end (where you can see), the app has an automated timeout and logout in the event that it senses no activity or when sent in the background. This means that you will have to log back in if you wish to continue using it afterwards. Also, the app issues you an OTP when going through various processes thus ensuring that security is guaranteed.
Transactions on the NovoFX app
The NovoFX app has a Transaction History tab that lets you see how far you have gone with your various transactions. In there, we have the Pending ones which have been received and are under process; the Complete ones that have been successful and completed; and Failed transactions for those that have not been processed yet.
In the event that you wish to download the transaction history, you might have to contact the support team because the app does not support this.
Adding a beneficiary on the NovoFX app
To add a beneficiary, select the Menu icon on the Home screen, go on to the Beneficiaries tab among the options, and select Add. Fill in the beneficiary details and then select Create Beneficiary. An OTP should be sent to your phone number, which you should enter to complete the process.
In the event that you need to add the beneficiary’s SWIFT code, ask them to provide their bank details including this code.
You can also add the beneficiary as part of the transaction process, select the currency and enter the amount. Click on the Select Beneficiary tab at the bottom, then select Add. Fill in the details and then complete by tapping Create Beneficiary.
There is also an option of editing an existing beneficiary’s details, though this requires you to input an OTP to confirm.