Who could have predicted that a bank would become one of the biggest sellers of smart devices in South Africa? That bank is FNB, and it’s now added the Lenovo Ideatab tablet computer to its range of smart devices at a rate of R99 per month for 24 months. In a statement released today the bank says the move in intended to make smart devices “affordable for South Africans who previously would not have been able to purchase one”.
Of course, that’s not the only reason FNB wants to offer more affordable devices. A customer who can self-service (minds out of the gutter, now) using digital channels costs the bank far less than one who needs to visit a physical branch for the same services.
In fact, getting customers accustomed to FNB’s banking apps and other mobile solutions is so compelling that the bank has been effectively subsidising all sorts of devices for its customers for years, from mobile phones and tablet computers all the way up to laptops. The devices are paid off over 24 months, don’t attract interest, and often cost a couple of hundred rand less than they would if bought for cash outright at the time.
Moreover, once a customer signs up for a device, it makes it pretty unlikely they’ll take their banking elsewhere during the 24-month repayment period.
The Lenovo Ideatab is an Android tablet that runs version 4.2 (Jelly Bean) of Google’s mobile operating system. It has a 7-inch display that offers a resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels, is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz processor and includes 16GB of storage (which can be expanded by a further 64GB via the microSD card slot) and 1GB of RAM. The Ideatab also includes a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 0.3-megapixel front facing camera.
FNB’s head of smart devices, Kartik Mistry, says smartphone and tablet penetration is increasing rapidly in South Africa and that “the addition of the Lenovo Ideatab to our device range means that for less than the cost of dinner and a movie, customers can now own a device that enables them to bank digitally,” and that can also met their education and entertainment needs.
The bank has also introduced a new tech support service called FNB Guru desk to assist customers in setting up new devices or using the banks various mobile applications. FNB Guru desk is open Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm on 087 736 7270.
FNB customers can apply for a Lenovo Ideatab via the FNB website and those that qualify will receive their device within five to seven working days from the time they place their order. The deal includes a two-year warranty, under which FNB will collect and repair any faulty device and deliver a new or repaired device to customers for the duration of the contract.