FNB's mobile banking booming

By Staff Writer

FNB Cellphone Banking now attracts consumers as young as 12 years of age and as old as 70 years, according to internal research by the bank. Two percent of customers are under 18 years; with 75% between 19 and 40 years; 20% are between 41 to 60 years and 3% are over 61 years of age.

CEO of FNB Cellphone Banking, Ravesh Ramlakan says, "Having consumers of all ages using the service confirms that Cellphone Banking caters for everyone."

He says, "Innovation has played a key role in enabling Cellphone Banking to attract a diverse market. As the service's offering is tailored for lifestyle needs of different target markets, we are now seeing an increase in the take up of Cellphone Banking among younger users between the ages of 12 and 18 as well as older users over the age of 60."

According to the bank, the most popular transactions made by consumers are prepaid purchases and balance enquiries. This is a common trend amongst all age groups.

The evolution of the service brought with it the change in behaviour of customers. In 2005 Cellphone Banking consumers mainly used the service for checking balances and then prepaid purchases became popular. Today consumers are comfortable making payments and are even making cardless cash withdrawals at ATMs using only their Cellphones.

"Most of our customers now use the service to purchase prepaid products. We are also seeing an increased number of customers using the service to make mobile payments," notes Ramlakan.

In the last three years the number of registered FNB Cellphone Banking customers have shot up to more than 4 million from 1 million previously, and with transactions amounting to more than R2 billion monthly. The service attracts a diverse market of techno savvy as well as ordinary cellphone users.

"As part of our drive to constantly innovate, we recently added Facebook vouchers that are created using Cellphone Banking and shared via Facebook. We have also expanded our initial Cellphone Banking offering from USSD (menu based dial in system *120*321#) to our FNB.Mobi (mobile web based banking), thereby catering for our customers that have smartphones. Our FNB.Mobi site receives approximately 700 000 visitors monthly, adding to the popularity of Cellphone Banking," he adds.

According to the research Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have the most customers, 35% of Cellphone Banking customers are based in Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 25%. In addition to this, FNB offers Cellphone Banking in Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zambia.

"Cellphone Banking remains at the forefront of innovative banking, our aim is to diversify our service offering for customers of all walks of life to meet the lifestyle needs of different age groups," he says.

"The biggest attraction to Cellphone Banking is undoubtedly the service's simplicity and availability to customers 24/7, providing customers with banking on the go. Innovation, safety, simplicity and convenience still remain key towards driving the use of Cellphone Banking," concludes Ramlakan.

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