No sign of app slowdown: FNB

First National Bank (FNB) announced on Tuesday (18 June) that its banking app for smartphones has gained 500,000 active clients in less than two years, since its launch in July 2011.

The announcement follows industry speculation suggesting that FNB is in discussions with Cell C to become a mobile virtual network operator, and launch services competing against Vodacom, MTN and Telkom Mobile.

FNB already provides its clients with free ADSL and 3G data though its internal ISP, FNB Connect.

The bank said there is no sign of slowing down when it comes to its apps or mobile platforms.

“In April we launched our bespoke Tablet Banking App, for iPad, Android and Windows 8 tablet and PC devices. The Smartphone App also still continues to deliver new functionality monthly for our base of more than half a million customers,” FNB said.

FNB also recently re-launched the FNB Mobi platform to be optimised for easy usability for Smartphones, the group said.

The FNB Tablet App has in excess of 20,000 active users across iPad, Android and Windows 8, bringing the total active apps base to 520,000.

“This accomplishment is testimony to the increased penetration of smartphones in South Africa as well as the ever expanding app ecosystem. We are in an era where mobility is a critical component of the consumer’s day-to-day life and consumers are becoming increasingly adept about the benefits that mobile can offer,” said Farren Roper, head of FNB Connect ISP and business operations.

“An app can be deleted as quickly as it is installed, which is why we don’t report on downloads, but rather active users,” added Roper.

The bank noted that the top two app stores in the world had close to 100 billion downloads, adding that smartphone sales and adoption are nowhere near maturity in South Africa, “and this is the reason why the FNB Banking App for Smartphones will continue to evolve,” explained Roper.

“With this app, we were able to use our in-house app development skills to tap into the ecosystem. We just happened to have the right vision and spot the gap before our competitors,” he said.

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No sign of app slowdown: FNB