FNB 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.
“Cellphone Banking has truly come of age in SA and 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 First National Bank (FNB) mCommerce.
The ability to purchase prepaid data and SMS bundles purchases directly from a FNB account using Cellphone Banking has also been a hit with customers. FNB Cellphone Banking users have also taken to purchasing LOTTO tickets since the service was made available in July 2009, with the first LOTTO millionaire on Cellphone Banking in September 2009 hitting the jackpot to the tune of R2 million.
November 2009 marked the 20th consecutive month that monthly transaction volume growth on FNB Cellphone Banking exceeded 100% year-on-year. That month, monthly transaction volumes grew by 147% year-on-year.
The Bank also continued to innovate, adding a range of new Cellphone Banking services and offerings to its portfolio, including eBucks on Cellphone Banking– introduced in August 2009, to offer eBucks clients a cellphone channel through which they can spend their eBucks on buying prepaid airtime, Telkom airtime, Globel international airtime, Vodacom SMS and Data Bundles, MXit Moola, prepaid electricity for Eskom and selected municipalities. Furthermore, the bank introduced Send Money – an instant solution for FNB customers to transfer money to anyone with a South African cellphone number.
Following the success of Cellphone Banking in South Africa, FNB rolled out Cellphone Banking services to its operations in Zambia in 2009, and now offers one or more Cellphone Banking services in Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia. Further to the innovative offering of Cellphone Banking, the bank expanded its cross-border prepaid airtime top-up service to include Lesotho in addition to its Namibian offering.
FNB’s success with Cellphone Banking received industry recognition during 2009 in the Celent Model Bank annual best practices review for Mobile Banking. In addition, Len Pienaar was nominated as one of the three finalists in the Visionary CIO 2009 awards presented by the Computer Society of SA (CSSA), ITWeb, the Gordon Institute of Business Science and Gartner Africa.
Moving into 2010, FNB has many new developments in the pipeline. These developments not only will enhance the lives of cellphone banking customers, but will allow new and exciting options and solutions to be a part of their daily lifestyle as well as establishing cellphone banking as part of mainstream banking.