South Africa’s banking group First National Bank (FNB) is exploring options to provide its customers with fibre and fixed-LTE services.
“We are always adding more. We are looking at adding fixed-LTE. We looking at adding fibre,” Len Pienaar, CEO of FNB Connect, said at a media briefing on Wednesday.
“Its early stage, we are only exploring options at the moment. We will only do it, if we believe we can offer it at the right quality.”
In June 2015 FNB became the first bank in South Africa to launch a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) through a partnership with Cell C, South Africa’s mobile phone operator.
Regarding FNB Connect’s partnership with Cell C, Pienaar said: “Our focus is to ensure that partnership grows and the quality to our customers improves continuously. We very impressed with their data network. At the moment, there is no intention to move that relationship away from them.”
The take up of the FNB Connect service has been nothing short of extraordinary and at the beginning of November 2015, FNB announced that it had over 100 000 active SIMs.
FNB Connect continued to retain and attract new customers and by June 2017 it has registered more than 500 000 active customers since its launch in June 2015.
It has sold 487 000 smart devices as well as 75 000 ConeXis A1 and X1 smartphones.
FNB Connect is fully integrated into the digital banking systems such as Online Banking and the FNB App. Customers can check the activity on each of the SIM cards with details of each transaction made in real time.
Any actions required for SIM management such as changing limits, switching international roaming on and off, cancelling the SIM or ordering a new one can be performed from these platforms.
On Wednesday, FNB asserted its status as a digital pioneer by revealing the next generation of its FNB-branded smartphones, the ConeXis A2 and the flagship ConeXis X2 to be available from 2 October 2017.
The FNB Connect Ultimate package announced at the same time as the smartphones, allows subscribers to make calls to any network for R399 with 4 000 voice minutes.
“Listening to customer needs helps us to provide a meaningful experience. The next generation of FNB ConeXis smartphones provides a premium experience at an affordable cost, and our competitive deals offer inclusive value for our Retail banking customers,” says Pienaar.
“More importantly, the integration of Connect into FNB’s banking platforms helps customers to exercise full control over their telco-spend and could potentially get the respective smartphones for free if they are on eBucks reward level 5.”