FNB’s new product will enable new and existing customers to open an account in real time, directly from the app, a first for any retail bank in South Africa.
Having launched its smartphone app in July 2011, FNB says the product has already seen 450,000 downloads.
Absa, which boasts 12.2 million clients, became the last major bank to release an app, last week, having originally earmarked a launch date of Q4 2011. That was extended into 2012 due to problems with its back-end system.
“It (the app) is completely custom-made and not a re-skin of our existing smartphone app,” said Farren Roper, Head of FNB Connect ISP and Business Operations.
FNB customers will also be presented with customised content according to their profile. Non-FNB customers will have access to information about FNB products, promotions and reward.
“We decided to build a customised app in order to offer consumers a fully immersive app that includes touch screen tablet banking, with features like drag and drop, swiping and double tapping all of which make for a great user experience,” said Roper
According to the research firm IDC, year-on-year sales for tablet devices has grown by 78.4%, compared to laptop and desktop computers, which has declined by 4.1%. The tablet market grew more than 80% and surpassed 128 million units shipped last year.
The firm expects tablet shipments to surpass desktop PC shipments for the first time in 2013. In addition, IDC forecasts tablets will outpace “portable” PC shipments next year. Currently, South Africa has more than an estimated 1 million tablets in circulation.
“Through our smartphone and tablet deal, FNB has also noted the growing popularity of tablet devices in South Africa, with more than 50% of devices sold, being tablets. As such, we believe that it is important for us to have a strategy that provides for ongoing digital banking solutions on tablet devices,” said Roper.
According to FNB 26% of its current 450,000 smartphone banking app customers are accessing the app from a tablet device, meaning that these customers can now migrate to the new app for tablets.
Aside from content, new account openings and applying for products, some of the other functionality contained in the app includes; viewing of accounts, viewing detailed balances, changing limits, viewing transaction history, viewing eBucks, once-off payments, multiple payments, forex and calculators, send money, prepaid airtime and electricity.
“We know that tablets are very popular devices and that their popularity is on the rise, which has given us an opportunity to super-serve our tablet app clients. This app was built in South Africa, by South Africans, our FNB Mobile and Connect team,” said Roper.