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FNB continues to innovate with its new offerings, while showing us how good it is at keeping up with our generation. Before I say anything else in this post, I want to say upfront that I have been an FNB customer my whole life (since Junior Bob), and I have no intention of switching banks. 

Anyway, today the bank announced a bunch of new innovations, but before I get into that, they also shared some interesting stats that I want to mention. Touching on the licence renewal system via the app that was announced in June 2017 (read here), it now has 180 000 cars registered on the platform, and over 11 000 licences have been renewed (mine included; won’t do it any other way). FNB also said that one out of every three cards that get swiped in South Africa is an FNB card (don’t know the source of this though); and it also shared that over 1-million logins take place on its app per day.

CEO of FNB, Jacques Celliers said earlier on that what the bank is doing is not about fads or the gadgets, but a “link to helpfulness”, no matter how cool the products are.

We used to be about digital innovation but now we are about platform disruption.

FNB CEO Jacques Celliers

The bank’s new way to get customers is through “Switch with a Selfie“. Customers who want to move to FNB can do so by using a selfie to open up a bank account for Business or Individuals. The biometric tie-in takes place with the Department of Home Affairs to verify individuals through a partnership with them. Celliers said that it took 18 months to pull off. Weeks after FNB announced a mobile bank account, regular users can now open up a bank account straight from the app with an email address. The app also makes use of your GPS as a way to confirm your address. Once again, this offering is for South African citizens with a valid ID. FNB said that a customer opened up a business account close to midnight on 15 May with a selfie and it took 1 minute, 26 seconds.

Future innovations to look out for is the ability to pay for stuff using QR Codes like what you are already doing on Snapscan and Zapper; and to use a Fitbit or Garmin watch to pay for coffee etc from your wrist. Unfortunately nothing on the Apple Watch as FNB said it was more of a “closed system”.

NAV UPDATE

Another update to the ‘nav’ offering is the ability to check your credit status. FNB has your history [including car info] so at a quick glance you can see on the app what your chances are of getting a loan.

According to FNB this is what it offers:

  • Track my spend – this feature lets consumers know whether they are spending more than they are earning and provides spends tips to manage their cash flow better
  • My available funds – lets consumers know what’s left to save and spend after all known upcoming payments. We take all your scheduled payments and debit orders into consideration. And if you are experiencing a shortfall, you can access other funds available like eBucks, savings, and credit – all in one useful place.
  • My credit status – FNB assess various data, including internal information and credit bureau info, to rate a customer’s credit fitness across seven helpful indicators. Know exactly what you’re doing right, and where you could improve, with personalized tips on late payments, credit limit usage, your track record and more.

EBUCKS OVERHAUL

There’s also been an overhaul of the eBucks site which sees over 1000 trips being booked every day. You can now book flights using eBucks and Rands for SAA, BA, Safair, Mango, and Kulula for your local flights, and still Emirates only for the international side. On 1 July, FNB will update which international airlines are new discount partners, and I am most looking forward to that. One of my most memorable eBucks purchases (not my iPad) was a return flight to Barcelona for R3900. I’m always saving my eBucks for a potential flight! You can also create profiles for yourself and family members, and with FNB Pay, you don’t have to enter payment details for each booking you make.

Relating to reward payouts, the company would have awarded R2-billion in eBucks this June for the the year (if I heard correctly) and a total of R10-billion since it launched the system 17 years ago. One of the easier rewards programs to get on and start earning if you just know how to game it.

Customers will also get rewarded instantly through “FNB Offers”, a feature I’ve noticed on the app where I qualify for certain discounts on products from the store, which is tied to a customer’s unique banking behaviour. A good time to be an FNB customer.

My 2c about those who want to switch to FNB – don’t do it for the perks and then complain when you don’t get lounge access (I’ve seen this countless times on Twitter). Do it for its primary offering (banking; yes this needs to be said). Perks are always a bonus, and it’s naive to think bonuses are guaranteed. 

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