FNB “dabbling” in NFC: CEO

First National Bank (FNB) CEO Michael Jordaan says that the bank is “dabbling” in near field communication (NFC) technology.

“We are dabbling in it (NFC),” he told Businesstech at a function in Sandton, however he stressed that much of the change in the banks technology ecosystem would continue to centre on banking cards.

FNB’s eBucks CEO, Jolandé Duvenage, pointed to careful strategy planning by the bank, saying that it did not want to take on new technology simply for the sake of it.

Jordaan noted that, while a number of the latest smartphones on the market included NFC capabilities, the majority of phones used in South Africa were not NFC-enabled.

The CEO did, however, confess that he was “terrified” of the competition in the banking industry, but added that he welcomed competition.

Jordaan was being questioned over the possibility of another bank in the country launching a rival service to eBucks. “We would be terrified,” he said, adding that anything other banks did “threatens us (FNB)”. He said that players in the financial services industry watched each other “with an eagle eye”.

In December 2011, Absa launched South Africa’s first live user trial of NFC technology on mobile phones. It involved 500 of the bank’s own staff members, operating in a live commercial environment.

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FNB “dabbling” in NFC: CEO