RMB Private Bank has become the second bank in South Africa to launch a transactional banking Aapplication (app), following the launch of FNB App in July 2011.
Both banking apps originate from within the First Rand Group, with RMB compatible with Apple (iOS), BlackBerry and Android platforms – with Nokia (Symbian) to follow.
The application is exclusive to the financial service group’s clients, it said.
South Africa has an estimated 7.5 million Smartphones in circulation at the moment, excluding tablet devices. According to research company Gartner, 40 million Smartphones are expected to be in circulation by 2014.
“With the ever-increasing smartphone and tablet penetration in South Africa, and with RMB Private Bank clients being upwardly mobile, this innovation will offer our clients transactional banking, as well as relevant value added services.
“We have already seen the market readiness for banking apps with the FNB App’s success, and we believe this will be even more pronounced with RMB Private Bank clients,” stated Gavin Tarr, Head of RMB Private Bank.
Similar to the FNB App, the RMB Private Bank App will offer clients transactional banking as well as other value-added benefits such as: Call functionality (including international calls); view foreign exchange rate functionality; ATM and Branch locators; and prepaid services.
“We are able to offer customers the comfort and security of FNB’s innovative banking platform, while still maintaining the bespoke service offerings of a boutique wealth management house,” continued Tarr.
“It is through this association that we are able to offer industry leading innovations, to our clients. This app will offer our clients with smartphones or tablets a unique, rich user interface on a safe and secure platform. We certainly see this as the future of mobile banking,” Tarr said.
The app leverages off the hardware of the latest smartphone and tablet devices. This enables the additional features such as geo-location and call functionality.
Sizwe Nxasana, CEO of the First Rand Group said that having the only two transactional banking apps on the African continent reflected the benefits of the Group’s innovative culture.
“We continue to see our operating businesses successfully leverage off their telecommunications skills and capabilities to provide value to customers” he said.
“Having the only two transactional banking applications on the African continent is something that we are very proud of.”
The FNB and RMB Private Bank App’s have an extensive roadmap and the intention is to keep the two apps on par, consistently ahead of local competition.
The RMB Private Bank App allows a user to:
- Do Transactional Banking (view accounts, view detailed transaction history, make payments, add recipients, make once off payments)
- Find Branches or ATM’s on a map
- Make free calls to select RMB Private Bank numbers and other registered users and cheap calls elsewhere including the cheapest SA cellular calls and international calls from 25cents
- Buy prepaid
- View foreign exchange rates (including buy and sell rates)
The FNB App has to date had over 100,000 active clients and close to 2 billion Rand in transaction value.
Nedbank (NED) says it will launch a banking application during the course of the year, but it cannot not elaborate on an exact date.
The anticipated release of Absa’s banking app was delayed due to problems with its back-end system. It had initially intended to launch an app in Q4 of 2011.
It is unclear what Standard Bank‘s plans are in this space.