This year’s Black Friday brings about greater anticipation and excitement from consumers and retailers as spend volumes are expected to increase.
According to Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB Card, Black Friday represents a time for consumers to buy items at great deals and each year, there’s a trend of spend categories that are popular to consumers. “We expect to see a return to popular categories like travel and entertainment this Black Friday as customers look to spend time with their families without any restrictions. In previous years, we saw spend on digital and technology, groceries and home improvement products lead in popularity due to the changing climate imposed by the pandemic.”
Overall spend from FNB card users in 2021 amounted to R2.5bn, a 15% increase from the previous year and the bank expects a further increase this year with transactions swayed towards digital payments as safer and more convenient ways of making purchases. “For those consumers that will opt to go into brick-and-mortar stores for Black Friday shopping, we expect a significant increase in the use of contactless device and card payments. Our customers also enjoy a range of convenient digital payment alternatives housed under the FNB Pay umbrella on the FNB App which can be used at any contactless enabled POS device,” adds Labuschagne.
Nollie Maoto, FNB Merchant Services, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, says “E-commerce has also continued its success story into 2022, with every year seeing growth accelerated. Leading up to the week of Black Friday sees e-commerce already at nearly 90% of 2021 values and volumes, with the travel and accommodation sectors already exceeding 2021’s value by 10%. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have produced a noticeable spike even over the last two years, so we’re expecting with-commerce values and volumes to be approximately 40% higher as we head into the Black Friday week.”
Black Friday can be worthwhile for people who plan their purchases ahead of time and some of the discounts can be meaningful in helping customers save on items of high value.
“It is important for consumers to remember that the festive season is very long and as such, it is crucial to manage budgets by avoiding excessive spending. We encourage our customers to consider using their eBucks when shopping to minimise out of pocket expenses. Our customers can also access our Nav>> Smart Budgeting functionality on the FNB App to manage, set up and track their budgets.”
FNB further encourages its customers to use its Virtual Cards for safer online payments and to approve online purchases through the FNB App. The Card Verification Value (CVV) security number on FNB Virtual Cards changes every hour, providing an extra layer of protection for customers. FNB also covers online purchases made using FNB and RMB Private Bank Virtual Cards with complimentary Purchase Protect insurance. Customer purchases are covered for 30 days post-purchase, up to R15 000, and in case of an accident, the insurance will cover repairs or the item’s purchase price.
“We continue to strongly encourage our customers to remain vigilant when shopping online or at a physical point of sale to avoid falling victim to fraudsters over this period,” concludes Labuschagne.