MASERU — First National Bank Lesotho has announced the launch of its latest innovations in digital banking, the Smartphone Banking App, which was the first of its kind to launch in Africa in 2011.
It is now available in Lesotho.
As part of their wider digital and mobile strategy, FNB will also launch their Mobi site which works on both smartphones and feature phones.
The App, which works with iOS Apple, BlackBerry10 as well as Android smartphones, affords clients access to safe and secure banking anytime, anywhere.
It is available as a free download from the App stores.
In a statement from the bank, CEO Emil Heppell said, “We are excited to bring FNB’s innovative award winning Smartphone Banking App and digital banking to Lesotho and empowering our clients with relevant mobile solutions such as the App and Mobi. This is an opportunity to contribute meaningfully towards the banking sector and unleash client benefit.”
The app will enable customers to perform general banking transactions like viewing account balances, transfers and payments.
It will also include exciting value-added services such as the ability to locate cash withdrawal machines (ATMs), buy prepaid airtime, make free calls and messages to other App users.
“The App is going to offer our clients a simple and intuitive banking experience for anytime banking. Unique innovations such as the ability to locate and pay anyone in close proximity and make cashless mobile money payments are just some of the many value added services clients will benefit from,” said Heppell.
FNB is looking to offer Lesotho clients a choice on mobile banking.
In this regard, FNB Lesotho have also launched a Mobi site that offers smartphone banking app features for clients who do not have smartphones.
Both the FNB Banking App and Mobi site provide access to banking for customers who may not have easy access to the branch network as by removing the need to rely on physical infrastructure.
“While we believe Africa has great potential for Smartphone and App penetration, we tried to ensure that we cater for most of our clients’ requirements. We foresee that eventually as supply increases and prices of smart devices fall, more people will have access to these devices to be able to transact using our digital channel”, he said.
FNB was the first Bank with a Smartphone App in July 2011 in South Africa which became the number one most downloaded App in South Africa on launch.
The smartphone banking app also includes an e-Wallet — a mobile banking feature that serves as an electronic store of funds and allows both FNB and non-FNB users to receive and withdraw funds via FNB’s ATM facilities.
“Our App includes an e-Wallet, which enables us to reach the underserviced and under banked with a mobile money solution. Customers can expect regular new features and innovations that make their lives easier and add to their banking experience.
“FNB is a global bank and with this technology we are delighted to be taking a world class mobile solution to our clients in Lesotho”, Heppell added.
Globally there are nearly seven billion mobile connections, expected to rise to 9.7 billion by the end of 2017.
Africa has an estimated more than 700 million subscribers and close to 400 million unique subscribers.
According to the GMSA, Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world.
Smartphone penetration in Africa is also on the increase with Research Company ABI estimating that by 2018 low cost smartphones will account for 44 percent of all smartphone shipments.