10,000 subscribe to Botswana’s First National Bank’s electronic service


Banking giant First National Bank (FNBB) is reaping the benefits of introducing the unique electronic banking service in the country. The bank says its electronic banking service is so far being subscribed for by over 10,000 clients, including individuals and corporate institutions.

"For our individual Internet Banking, we have in excess of 5 500 using the service, for business-held accounts, we have in excess of 1 000, and with the recently introduced Cellphone Banking which was introduced in November of 2006, we have in excess of 3900 customers using the service," says Oratile Moremong of FNBB's publicity and marketing department in response to a questionnaire.

"We have seen quite a number of customers attracted by our Electronic Banking products opening accounts as they feel that they are very efficient and provide effective management of accounts held with FNBB."

However, Moremong says pessimistic views persist in some sections of society, perhaps because the unique service came a bit too early for the ordinary person who does not have a computer at home.

"That may be the case as Internet usage in Botswana remains very low as a result of the high cost to access it, the high cost of computer hardware and generally low levels of Internet awareness," she says.

"However, this is no excuse for Botswana to remain on the wrong side of the digital divide with little access to development and innovation. The idea has always been to provide our customers with banking convenience, and we are beginning to see that bearing fruit across all the different segments of the clients that we service, from the under-banked upwards.

"The benefits of the various electronic solutions that we provide in comparison to conventional banking are that it costs less than conventional banking; it is convenient in that one can have access to their account information from the comfort of either their home or office 24/7; it means less queuing in that you can make payments or pay bills using any of the electronic solutions 24/7; it facilitates an easy and efficient management of your accounts held with FNBB 24/7."

(Source: Mmegi/The Reporter)