First National Bank launches smartphone, tablet app

A first for the continent, one of South Africa’s Big Four banks, First National Bank (FNB) has launched an online banking app for smartphones and tablets.

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FNB says the app delivers a unique user experience by combining “the benefits of banking with the power of a smartphone or tablet”.

Michael Jordaan, CEO of FNB says the app speaks to “FNB’s strategic drive to be the leader in innovative banking through the use of technology, and that the bank is constantly looking at ways to improve on our innovations”.

“In an increasingly digital world in which smartphones, tablets and apps are changing the way we communicate and live, the introduction of the FNB Banking App will enable us to widen our offering allowing us to provide our customers with convenient banking solutions and great user experience”.

The app will allow users to “have immediate and secure access to their bank accounts”.

The banking services one will be able to access on the app are:

  • viewing account lists
  • view a “detailed” transactional history
  • perform transactional services like transfers between accounts or making payments
  • using location based services to allow customers to find branches and ATMs
  • viewing Forex Rates

At the moment South Africa’s smartphone penetration sits at 16 percent but should rise to 80 percent by 2014 according to studies by IT research company Gartner.

Farren Roper, Head of Products and Markets at FNB Connect, says “We understand the demand for instant and ‘on the go’ banking from our customers and our app provides easy access to banking through a single sign on process”.

According to the bank the app works off any network, including 3G or WiFi.

Roper says “the app gives the multi-tasker a quick, one stop and convenient banking experience”.

As of now the app is available free of charge for Apple devices on iTunes, devices running Android through the Android Market, and BlackBerry devices in BlackBerry’s AppWorld.

The bank says support for additional platforms such as Nokia’s Symbian is soon to follow.

When asked by Memeburn whether there were any plans to roll out the app into other markets FNB has a presence in, the bank replied that it was investigating and “will decide based on market conditions in those territories as well as customer demand”.

However it pointed out that it was “definitely looking at taking the app to Africa and India”.

A video released by FNB on its app

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