South Africa's Absa Group is to move into the domestic Internet service provider market, offering a subscription-free service to consumers from early February.
The bank has licensed Affinity Internet to deliver the service. Affinity managing director Jerry Tindall, says: "There are currently around 2 million Internet users in South Africa. With the introduction of this subscription-free branded Internet access, we expect the market to grow significantly as was the case in the UK."
Absa currently has more than 150,000 online banking customers, about one-third of the market, with numbers growing at a rate of 90% a year. The banks says the move into ISP provision is part of a long-term e-commerce strategy.
UK company Affinity already operates 150 branded ISP services for clients such as Egg, The Royal Bank of Scotland and the Skandia Life Group.