In June, South Africa’s FNB bank (First National Bank) announced it was creating a new virtual mobile network service that would be integrated with FNB’s online banking service and allow FNB customers to have a single account for both their mobile and banking accounts. In the months since, the bank has seen strong uptake in the service with particular interest among the millennial demographic.
Commenting on the initial results, Ravesh Ramlakan, CEO of FNB Connect said,
“We didn’t expect to hit the 100 000 active SIMS mark before the end of the year but the strong organic uptake by customers is an indication that there’s a strong need for a transparent, flexible mobile service. 75% of the new SIMS are prepaid and 25% are postpaid, and 40% of customers fall within the 26 – 35 age, this is a demographic that values flexibility and prefers to take control of how they spend on mobile services.”
Around the world, mobile network operators (MNOs), also known as telcos, are increasingly providing financial services to their customer base. With more consumers using their smartphones as a primary banking channel, financial services, including payment services, could be a vital new revenue stream for MNOs as the cost of data and other mobile services declines. Although FNB’s launch of a mobile network does not seem focused on developing new payment services, it serves as a significant new touch point that should help keep the bank’s customers satisfied and creates ne
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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