Far the past few years, First National Bank has been adding features to its banking app aimed at alleviating the pain of admin.
Aside from checking your balance, making payments and transfers and FNB has given customers the ability to change car insurance, renew their driver’s licenses and even renew identity documents. Last month, FNB introduced Wallet eXtra, a mobile bank account that allows unbanked and underbanked South African open an account via a feature phone or smartphone.
The bank took another step towards the bleeding edge of technology at a launch event this week at its headquarters in Sandton, at which Chief executive Jacques Celliers unveiled a series of new features. In a first for South Africa, FNB customers can now use the app to open a bank account with a selfie.
Dubbed Selfie Onboarding, the feature allows one to use a selfie to open an account within minutes, with identity verification conducted through the Department of Home Affairs, and location verification one through GPS tracking. Customers can then switch debit orders, set up their digital banking profile and even order and schedule the delivery of credit and debit cards.
While it sounds like a gimmick, it’s part of FNB’s broader plan move towards paperless banking through what Celliers calls “innovation in the emotional space.” In other words, FNB wants to take the stress out of banking by make as many of its processes as painless and quick as possible.
To that end, several more of the new features operate on the same principle. Alongside Selfie Onboarding, FNB revealed several more new app tools.
Track My Spend lets customers notifies customers about their spending habits – whether they’re spending more than they have – and allows them to manage their cash flow easier.
My Available Funds lets them know how much money they’ll have after all their debit orders and monthly payments have been deducted. It also allows them access extra funds – such as overdraft, credit and eBucks in the event of a shortfall.
My Credit Status rates a customers credit fitness through FNB’s crunching internal data and credit bureau information. It builds up a complete picture and offers tips and information on how a customer can improve their credit rating.
“Our focus is on developing a strong customer-centric integrated financial services offering which is underpinned by digitisation. We have invested substantially to introduce helpful digital innovations that move beyond just banking, but enhance customers lives by helping consumers to help themselves,” said Raj Makanjee, FNB Retail CEO.
FNB unveiled eBucks travel, which allows customers to book flights, hire cars, and take advantage of special deals with the eBucks rewards program, offering 40% discounts depending on which reward programme they’re with.
Finally, FNB announced FNB Offers, a sort of gaming/banking hybrid rewards scheme in which consumers can earn eBucks or discounted partner offers for performing everyday banking tasks.
In the coming months, FNB customers can expect more additions announced as part of the bank’s ‘digital journey’ including enhanced fraud management, virtual debit and credit cards and even the ability to pay for items using wearables. If FNB can deliver in quick succession, Celliers’s vision of paperless banking may not be too far away.