|FNB offers discounted contracts|
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 11:00
In what First National Bank (FNB) has termed a “phased approach” to integrating cellphone operators into its client offering, it now offers customers cellphone contracts with handsets at subsidised rates through Cell C.
FNB has incorporated its banking system with Cell C's retail systems, and customers can take up the offer through FNB's existing account opening process by applying at an FNB branch or online.
FNB cellphone banking solutions CEO Ravesh Ramlakan says customers will know immediately whether they qualify for a cellphone contract. “No additional paperwork is required and the cellphone application process is completed in a few minutes.”
Ramlakan says the three cellphone contracts on offer have been specifically designed for and targeted at FNB's mass market customers, both new and existing, who earn up to R100 000 per annum.
The subsidised contracts are available to FNB Smart account-holders at discounted rates, starting from R39 per month. Each contract includes a handset, monthly airtime and SMSes.
The first offer, at R39 per month, includes a Nokia X2-01 on a Control Chat 50 contract. The contract, which usually costs R50 per month, includes R50 airtime and 25 SMSes per month.
Cell C's Control Chat 100 offer, usually R100 per month, is available through FNB for R79 per month and includes a Nokia C3 handset, R115 airtime and 100 SMSes per month.
At the top end of the deal, the Control Chat 125 contract is available through FNB for R125 per month, which means a monthly saving of R26, and includes a Samsung Galaxy Y handset, R145 airtime and 100 SMSes per month.
“Customers will [also] have the budget control of prepaid; in other words, when they run out of their monthly airtime they can recharge instantly using FNB's cellphone banking,” says Ramlakan.
He says customers will be required to either open a Smart account or have an existing Smart account to qualify. “Qualification for the cellphone contract is subject to the cellphone operator's standard credit vetting rules. As a general rule, customers must earn a gross income of R1 500 or more and have a clear credit record.”
According to Ramlakan, this move marks phase one of FNB's mapped integration of cellphone contracts into its banking offerings. “Our intention is to include all other operators in the near future.
“We have adopted a phased approach in FNB branches to integrate with one service provider initially, and designed our systems to enable easy integration with other operators in future.”
Cell C's executive head of sales and distribution Sue Kennedy says the partnership makes business sense and will be instrumental in helping the cellphone operator achieve its goal of bringing affordable communications to South Africans.
FNB smart transactional banking CEO James Fowle says as well as pushing the proliferation of electronic forms of banking, the move will facilitate everyday banking by providing customers with access to quality handsets and equipping them with the platform of cellphone banking.
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