FNB are rolling out a few updates for their banking app, some of which are first for banking apps in South Africa. FNB’s long been known as the most innovative bank in the country and the best to harness new tech, and its proved itself adept at using new features to win new customers. Switching banks, like switching mobile operators, is perceived as painful. FNB’s long tried to counter that with easy ways to do so, and the sorts of appealing features that’ll make consumers consider the switch. It’s latest efforts in this regard will let you open accounts by taking a selfie, give you some saving advice, and making travel easier with eBucks.
But first, let me take a selfie
Taking selfies is second nature to most people by now, and FNB will now allow you to open a personal or business account (if you have existing FNB accounts) or switch to FNB (if you don’t) by taking a selfie with the platform’s new Switch with a Selfie feature. Despite banner ads on FNB’s website for the new feature, at time of writing its not actually working. We’ll keep trying, though, as some of Team Stuff have been looking for an excuse to switch.
The feature is also available (and also not working) on the FNB apps, which anyone can download. The biometric data obtained from the selfie will be used to create the account and it and the personal information will be cross referenced with the Department of Home Affairs’ database. The level of security is “much safer than signing a piece of paper” according to FNB management.
Second, the bank launched nav>>money that will (with you permission) allow FNB to send you banking tips according to your personal financial habits. FNB will then use the data to project where you are going moneywise, and how to start saving. Navigate Money is, in layman’s terms, your own personal banking advisor built into the app and is available to all FNB clients (maybe they can help with our frivolous spending habits on the PSN?).
Personal financial management (PFM) services aren’t new, in fact, many of us at Stuff use standalone service 22seven, but there’s obvious appeal to it being offered in the same app as our transactional banking.
Have eBucks, will travel
The third of FNB’s new features concerns travel and the bank’s famous eBucks rewards programme. Flight options for eBucks discounts were previously limited to a handful of airlines, but now includes all of them (SAA, BA, Mango, Kulula and FlySafair). The platform can also capture family details for future use, but the discounts will only apply to family members who also have an FNB account in their name. Unlike the selfie signup, the travel options are working at time of writing.
Will these new features prove popular? Quite possibly. Last year FNB added the option to renew vehicle licenses using the app, and says its since processed over 11,000 vehicle license renewals. The bank has also hinted at a range of additional features its customer can look forward to later this year, including FNB Pay QR code for business and retail (sorry Snapscan and Zapper), wearable payments (hallelujah!), virtual debit and credit cards, and enhanced fraud management.
You can’t see the selfie we’re trying to send FNB, but in it, we’re smiling.