On 20 July 2011, First National Bank (FNB) launched South Africa’s very first banking application (app) for Smartphones and Tablets. Since its release, the highest density of Banking App downloads occurred in Cape Town, thus a lunch was held at the Taj Hotel in the city on Friday and the new app was demonstrated to local press using iPhones. However, it is already available for Android and certain Blackberry devices and can be downloaded free from an app store.
The app connects to any network via 3G or WiFi and apart from accessing instant banking features like doing transfers, viewing balances and making payments, the App also enables the user to locate the nearest FNB branch or ATM using Google maps. Other features include instant Forex rates, free calls to FNB contact centers and cheaper calls to other numbers.
According to the FNB press release South Africa currently has an estimated 16% Smartphone penetration, which according to information technology Research Company Gartner will ramp up to 80% by 2014. Global sales of Tablet computers and Smartphones are predicted to exceed PC, notebooks and netbooks in 2011. The App market is also predicted to grow by 60%.
Michael Jordaan, CEO of FNB is very excited to be the first bank in SA to launch this technology “In an increasingly digital world in which Smartphones, Tablet devices and Apps are changing the way we communicate and live, the introduction of the FNB Banking App will enable us to widen our offering allowing us to provide our customers with convenient banking solutions and great user experience.”