On 14 December 2017, South African bank, First National Bank (FNB) announced that its FNB Connect platform has been awarded for Innovation in Product Design at the 20th Financial Innovation Awards held in London. The Awards recognised FNB Connect for introducing the FNB ConeXis smartphones which have looked to enabled access to digital banking.
FNB said that the accolades are awarded to celebrate innovation, customer experience and takes into consideration any service that places communities at the heart of the offering.
Shadrack Palmer, Chief Commercial Officer of FNB Connect, says, “This award is testament to our capacity to compete with global financial services and telco firms in spearheading innovation. The introduction of smartphones that are tailor-made for our customers has proven to be a significant disruptor in the market and a major breakthrough in enabling affordable and convenient access to a customer-centric digital banking experience.”
Alex Fraser, Chief Executive, The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF), says “It has been very encouraging to see the extraordinary levels of ingenuity and creativity being applied by entrants from around the world. They reflect a clear focus on customer service and financial inclusion. While one of the only certainties in our sector is that things will change, and often rapidly, these awards demonstrate that the finance sector is well equipped to drive those changes that benefit us all.”
In 2015, FNB became the first bank in Africa to launch its own SIM through FNB Connect, and a year after the first bank to launch its own branded smartphones. Since then, Connect has built an integrated proposition to become a telco provider of choice for FNB customers. By June 2017, it had sold over 75 000 FNB branded ConeXis smartphones, less than a year after they were unveiled.
Recently, FNB Connect introduced the latest range of FNB ConeXis smartphones and is currently running a highly competitive festive season campaign to give away 3.3 million Gigabytes of data to customers that use the FNB App or take up qualifying banking products. Connect has also introduced once off Mega Data bundles that will enable users to stream movies, play games and download at a cheaper rate. Customers can get 50GB for R879 and 100GB for R1399 over the duration of the promotion period.
“We are committed to becoming a telco provider of choice for FNB customers as we offer much more value to our customers than any other traditional provider. This accolade certainly validates our business case and demonstrates our growing stature in the market,” adds Palmer.