Business Day

FNB aims to convert rivals’ customers

- Thabiso Mochiko Deputy Companies Editor mochikot@bdlive.co.za

First National Bank (FNB) has unveiled new branded smartphone­s and data and voice packages in a move it says will boost its position in the highly competitiv­e cellphone services market.

Two years ago, the bank launched its mobile communicat­ion business, FNB Connect, which is roaming on Cell C’s network to provide data and voice services to clients.

It competes with mobile network operators MTN, Vodacom, Cell C, Telkom and other mobile virtual network operators roaming on Cell C’s network such as Virgin Mobile SA.

The next generation of FNB ConeXis smartphone­s provided a “premium experience at an affordable cost”, said FNB Connect CEO Len Pienaar. “More importantl­y, the integratio­n of Connect into FNB’s banking platforms helps customers to exercise full control over their telco spend and could potentiall­y get the respective smartphone­s for free if they are on eBucks reward level 5,” he said.

THE MOVE SIGNALS AMBITIOUS PLANS TO MAKE FNB CONNECT A TELCO PROVIDER OF CHOICE FOR FNB CUSTOMERS

FNB aims to lure its banking customers who are on other mobile networks to join its FNB Connect platform.

The latest move “signals ambitious long-term plans to make Connect a telco provider of choice for FNB customers”, said Christoph Nieuwoudt, CEO of FNB Consumer Segment.

Smartphone unit sales increased 17% in the six months to June, a report by research firm GfK SA shows.

The smartphone market remains buoyant as consumers migrate from feature phones, says Nicolet Pienaar, GfK business group manager for IT and telecoms.

Consumers can expect new smartphone models as companies position themselves to take advantage of the holiday season spend.

Domestic company Mobicel is launching its new cellphone range on Thursday.

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