First National Bank takes tech seriously in a bid to beat the competition

Major South African bank, First National Bank (FNB) is leading the home-grown technology race with a successful App, a prominent on-line presence and  cashless dotFNB branches.

Farren Roper, Head of FNB Connect ISP and Business Operations spoke to News24 about the company’s aggressive approach to on-line and how they are changing the face of South African banking one smartphone at a time.  FNB was the first bank in S.A. to launch a mobile application and have sold ‘in excess of 100 000 mobile devices as part of its online digital store’ to help the process along.  The idea of banking on-line is one that has been particularly slow to take on the continent , with many preferring to visit branches and see consultants for themselves.  Roper hopes that this will slowly change, although FNB have no desire to close branches, they would like to see mobile consumers embrace their digital platform while continuing to meet in-branch for their more sensitive needs, like investments.

The dotFNB branches are one way FNB is combining the idea of on-line and physical banking. The cashless banking sites make it possible for customers to purchase products, interact with the bank’s latest technology, like the App and use on-line solutions like video-conferencing with financial experts.  FNB considers the mobile consumer just as much their traditional customer, a lead that other financial institutions are yet to follow.  They develop all software in-house for security and adaptability, considering the operations already in place as well as customer insight.  FNB remain ‘the biggest financial services company on social media’ as they are ‘the biggest brand in South Africa on Facebook with over 320 000 likes’, according to

This so-called ‘bricks to clicks’ campaign has seen huge successes so far, with Roper remaining enthusiastic about further developments – “The future of banking is that there should be very little that you can do in a branch that a consumer will not be able to do on our digital channels.”


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