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FNB’s MVNO sees upswing in smart device sales

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 22 May 2023

FNB Connect, First National Bank’s (FNB’s) mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), sold almost R400 million worth of electronic devices via the FNB app in the past six months.

According to the big-four bank, smart device sales via the banking app increased by 52% compared to the prior six-month period.

The growth in smart device sales via the platform follows the introduction of what the bank calls “cost-effective value propositions”. These include an offering that allows customers to purchase high-end devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones from brands like Apple, Samsung and Lenovo, and pay over 24 months.

Lytania Johnson, CEO of FNB Personal Segment, comments: "Smart devices are crucial to the lifestyles of customers, but access and cost are common barriers for many. Our appreciation of this inspires us to support our customers with affordable devices, data and voice minutes.”

The single digital platform allows clients to manage their money, see what they qualify for and have their device and SIM delivered to their doorstep, Johnson notes.

“This makes our approach very different from the traditional providers of some of these services, and over the years, we’ve worked closely with device suppliers to ensure the prices are affordable to many of our customers."

Ashwin Gobind, COO of FNB Connect, adds: "While we have been providing customers with devices for years, we’ve significantly enhanced the customer experience and created better value and customer experience.

“For convenience, customers can easily apply for their smart devices on the FNB app without any paperwork, and have their device delivered directly to them within three business days.”

Launched in June 2015, FNB Connect is available to FNB customers and allows them to choose from a range of contract and prepaid packages. The service is a three-pillar business made up of the MVNO, device and service provider.

With the launch of the MVNO component, FNB became the first bank in the country to establish such a mobile offering, piggybacking on Cell C’s network.

Over the years, the bank has expanded its device offerings on the platform.

While incumbent telcos have reported a decline in voice, FNB says it is still incredibly important to South Africans, with voice consumption on a continuous increase.