Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has described the innovations put out by South African banking giant First National Bank (FNB) as “game-changing”.
Speaking at the bank’s annual leadership conference, Wozniak said he was impressed by the kind of thinking he saw in action at FNB:
I have addressed many conferences, but this is one of the first where I felt that I was so impressed by financial innovations, some of which we have not seen in the US, and are truly game-changing for all other banks. This is one of the few occasions where I have met bankers who think like IT geeks.
“Innovation and leadership are core FNB values. But, we continually seek to re-invigorate this culture in the bank. I encourage my colleagues to continually create new ways of doing things and in so-doing we are creating entirely new banking products such as the first Banking App in Africa,” says FNB CEO Michael Jordaan.
The bank’s CEO notes that the Apple co-founder is a “true legend” and “genius” whose contributions and innovations have had a great effect on the face of personal computing and technology.
“He was motivated to create the first Apples by his desire to make personal computers user-friendly. The FNB culture is very similar as we seek to create a far-reaching ethos of creativity and believe that innovation coupled with ongoing optimism are the keys to success in any organisation,” adds Jordaan.
Wozniak reckons that the FNB leadership team has made it “evident that they live by their culture of creativity and their passion to develop new banking technologies for years to come.”
The praise from Wozniak comes fresh off FNB being named the world’s most innovative bank at the BAI-Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards 2012.
Since leaving Apple, Wozniak has gone on to become Chief Scientist at US-based hardware and software systems company Fusion-io. He is also a published author and NY Times best-selling autobiography — iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon
He has been quite vocal about Apple and Samsung’s patent battle, saying the court ruling against Samsung won’t “hold” and suggesting that he disagreed with it.