The launch of mobile service by FNB is the latest attempt by a bank to win new customers as technology converge between banks and mobile phone operators.
FNB, the oldest bank in South Africa, will offer its own SIM cards to its customers from 15 June 2015, setting its sights on growing market for customers to take all telecoms service from it and becoming the first South African bank to offer mobile services.
The move by FNB will be welcomed by the market and this will benefit its more than 2 million customers, who are topping up with airtime and bundles monthly. The bank sold over 285 000 discounted smart devices since 2011.
The mobile phone market is already crowded and the launch of FNB Connect mobile offering will put it squarely against a number of rivals such as Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Virgin Mobile and the new kid in the block Me&You Mobile.
Currently FNB offers ADSL and 3G data rewards through its FNB Connect offering, which will now be expanded to include mobile voice and data products.
“Mobility and banking innovation are now synonymous in the minds of FNB customers, we are excited to launch a South African first for banking via FNB Connect as the next step in our digital evolution,” says Jacques Celliers, CEO of FNB.
SIM cards will be sold separately from devices and customers will be able to choose from a range of mobile voice and data products.
“The FNB Connect mobile offering will add value to our customers’ lives as it is seamlessly integrated into all our banking systems,” adds Celliers.
The integration of this offering with digital platforms such as FNB’s Online Banking will afford customers the benefit of a single login to simultaneously manage their financial and mobile accounts. This provides peace of mind knowing that the same advanced security that protects customers’ financial accounts will also protect their mobile accounts.
Customers will also have the option to easily port their existing cellphone number through FNB’s electronic banking channels.
“The core offering will be the Flexi Package, which is unique as customers can manage their account by creating their own mobile package and have the ability to change it every month,” says Ravesh Ramlakan, CEO of FNB Connect.
In addition, FNB will also be the first to market with a prepaid Auto Top-Up recharge feature where customers will be topped up automatically when their airtime balance drops below R5.
Transparency and the ability for customers to control their spend are made possible by electronic features such as real time call transaction history, ability to set bill limits and setting notifications.
In line with the bank’s strategy to encourage customers to use digital banking rather than branches; ordering and activation of SIMs occurs on digital platforms. Other self-service options include SIM Swap, Block your SIM and activation of international roaming calls through Online Banking.
Customers will also have the benefit of qualifying to earn up to 40% back in eBucks on any FNB Connect mobile offering from 1 July this year.
“The banking landscape has evolved tremendously and with the help of technology we are able to better enrich the customer experience. We believe that this valuable service will assist customers with the opportunity to do their banking and mobile services from one platform. This is yet another innovation aimed at offering our customers the benefit of integrated and seamless mobile services which interoperates across existing platforms,” concludes Ramlakan.