FNB Launches Cellphone Business Banking services in South Africa
First National Bank (FNB) is banking on small businesses to secure its position in cellphone banking and also to provide another important revenue stream.
The bank is the first in South Africa A to launch cellphone banking for businesses, allowing inter- account payments, checking of account balances and buying of prepaid electricity and airtime.
FNB marketing director Kheepe Moremi said the bank chose to concentrate on small businesses as it believed they were the future of how business would be done and because of the employment opportunities they created.
Once customers have signed up for the service, registered cellphone numbers together with the correct Pin will enable users to perform transactions. This is done through SMSes and a menu feature on their phones.
Len Pienaar, CEO of FNB Mobile and Transact Solution, said the product catered for business partnerships through a dual authorisation agreement that required approval from both partners for transactions.
The bank is expecting more than 4000 businesses to sign up for the product in its first year.
Moremi said at least 42000 transactions are expected, which would bring in R10m in revenue this year.
To attract customers, FNB has kept charges the same as for internet banking but less than the cost of visiting a branch. There are also no subscription or registration fees attached to the product.
The cellphone service was built on existing individual cellphone banking platforms, with a few modifications for new features such as the dual authorisation agreement.