/ 28 September 2018

Customers to benefit from disruption in retail banking, says FNB

Raj Makanjee
Raj Makanjee, chief executive of FNB retail. (Photo: Xavier Saer)

Customers will be the main beneficiaries of disruption and increased competition in retail banking, due to a potential improvement in value and customer service.

This is according to Raj Makanjee, chief executive of FNB Retail, reflecting on the increasingly competitive environment as new entrants enter the market.

“Competition is vital to improving customer-centricity in the delivery of banking products and services, especially in a retail banking market, where customers expect every rand to generate real value.

This is a journey we’ve been on as a bank in our quest to be a trusted money manager and an integrated financial services provider,” he says.

In FNB’s recent annual results, the retail banking division delivered 18% profit growth against the backdrop of a tough economic environment. The quality of FNB’s transactional business was further demonstrated by strong growth in retail customer numbers, which contributed to growing the bank’s overall customers to 8.15-million by June 2018.

FNB has disbursed more than R10-billion worth of eBucks while its eWallet recorded 41% growth, surpassing R21-billion in terms of value of money sent in the last 12 months. The bank counts 6.1-million active wallets and recently introduced the eWallet eXtra mobile bank account, which has no monthly account fee, and can be taken up using any cellphone.

In addition, FNB is now the leading retail deposit taker in South Africa, with growth coming from both product and banking channel innovations. The bank also reports strong progress in its digital journey, with financial transactions on the app growing by 65%.

Makanjee says: “The bank’s vision is to be a trusted money manager that delivers exceptional customer experience and superior value. We are excited by future opportunities across the transactional, lending, invest and insure areas of our business.”

“More importantly, we understand that our success and relevance depends on placing our clients at the centre of everything we do. In line with the realities that characterise our operating context, we continue to invest significantly in our people, systems and infrastructure for better customer experience.”

FNB holds strongest reputation in South African banking sector

For the third consecutive year, FNB has claimed the prestigious title of strongest reputation in the 2018 RepTrak® Pulse Survey. Conducted by the Reputation Institute, the survey provides a specialised measurement of how the public, investors and employees perceive major brands.

The survey measures key pillars that are essential for brands to gain the support and trust of consumers, and these include: products and services, governance, workplace, citizenship, leadership, innovation and performance. FNB performed better than the industry average in all dimensions measured, with a significant industry lead in innovation. The survey also acknowledged the bank for being seen to be communicating more often than its competitors.

“The accolade highlights the strides we continue to make to become a trusted money manager. At the heart of this evolution is our investment in big data and Artificial Intelligence capabilities to enable ease of access to banking services.

We firmly embrace the challenge of being held to a higher standard and through innovation, we believe that we are better equipped to service our customers’ range of needs,” says Virginia Magapatona, FNB Corporate Affairs executive.

Over the years, FNB has consistently pioneered innovation in the banking sector as an integrated financial services provider. The bank continues to assert its leader status through the introduction of banking solutions to service a range of customer needs. FNB launched its eWallet eXtra mobile bank account, introduced functionality to open a personal or business bank account with a selfie on the FNB app, and also revealed a mini ATM, which accepts biometric authentication.

“Our customer-centric digital execution is primarily enabled by our big data capabilities and we are proud to be able to provide useful services to both individuals and business customers. In addition, we also believe that active involvement in society is a contributor to becoming a trusted brand and partner by our stakeholders,” she adds.

“To this end, we have formed partnerships with institutions such as the department of home affairs to process ID cards and passports at our branches. We also provide SMMEs a platform to register their businesses with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, and help with capacity building across municipalities through targeted interventions.”