FNB to add more cellphone services PDF Print E-mail
Cellphone banking continues to grow and more solutions would be introduced in 2010, says FNB


Len Pienaar
First National Bank (FNB) says cellphone banking customers performed more than 56 million transactions to the value of over R7.2 billion in the last 12 months, indicating that the cellphone has come of age as a transactional channel.


The bank says it will continue to innovate and add a range of new cellphone banking services and offerings to its portfolio,

FNB says it has many new developments in the pipeline for 2010, focusing on establishing cellphone banking as part of mainstream banking.

"Cellphone banking has truly come of age in SA and is now more widely used than PC-based banking. The high adoption rates we`ve experienced show that it`s a trusted and convenient channel for customers to perform a wide range of transactions from checking account balances to buying prepaid airtime or paying a beneficiary," says Len Pienaar, CEO of FNB mCommerce.

In August, it introduced eBucks on cellphone banking – allowing customers to buy prepaid airtime from Telkom, Globel and Vodacom, SMS and data bundles, MXit Moola and prepaid electricity.

Most recently, it also introduced Send Money – an instant solution for FNB customers to transfer money to anyone with a SA cellphone number.

FNB says the ability to purchase prepaid data and SMS bundles directly from a FNB account using cellphone banking, has been a hit with customers. Users have also taken to purchasing LOTTO tickets since the service was made available in July 2009.

Into Africa

In November, the bank announced it would take advantage of the growth of cellphone banking across Africa by introducing the service for its clients in Zambia.

The bank expanded its cross-border prepaid airtime top-up service to include Lesotho in addition to its Namibian offering.

It has also increased services in Botswana and Swaziland.


In May, the bank released FNB Connect, a mobile VOIP offering and low-cost bandwidth solution, which had the industry excited about competitive opportunities.

The solution is broken into two offerings, the `Surf` solution for data, which allows ADSL users to purchase prepaid data, and the `Talk` solution, which focuses on supplying cheaper calls to landlines and cellphones, through a VOIP solution.

The bank also unveiled an interactive Web site aimed at delivering comprehensive financial information to its users. It planned to reach more than 30 000 users in the next six months and one million page impressions a month within three years.

The site features Web 2.0 tools such as blogposts, multimedia videos and discussion forums. It was in beta testing in December and went live in March.

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