Grindstone Accelerator

FNB wins ‘Most Innovative African Bank’ 2nd year running

FNB’s digital ‘platform revolution’ powers business growth and competitive advantage to win at Fintech Africa

As a finalist in the Most Innovative African Bank competition, FNB presented some new products and platforms at the recent Finance Indaba held at the Sandton Convention Centre. We talked through how we’ve delivered and scaled these innovations to solve problems for hundreds of thousands of individual and business customers. FNB Connect is thriving with over half a million subscribers and recently launched the new FNB phones X2 and A2, each with compelling price-points and reward / value bundles. The new FNB Life Insurance business has over 3 million active policies and has become the fastest selling digital self-service insurance provider.

Networked market places have seen exponential growth

However, the flagship digital innovation in the past year that caused the most interest is our nav>> platform which has two new services, car and home. Both offer unique and helpful solutions that leverage the existing FNB banking ecosystem. Networked market places have seen exponential growth by connecting sellers and buyers, hosts and visitors, drivers and passengers etc. Geoffrey Parker’s book Platform Revolution describes these ‘two-sided markets that are revolutionizing the way we do business’ and FNB’s nav platform brings this revolution to banking.

more than 100,000 vehicles have been loaded onto nav>> car

In just six months more than 100,000 vehicles have been loaded onto nav>> car where customers can get free car value estimates, free license renewal reminders and a paid for service of license disc delivery straight to their door. Wesbank is also part of FirstRand Group and their vehicle finance customers can now also use the FNB app to view important documents such as NATIS and cross border letters. The nav platform runs inside the award-winning FNB app which offers a feature rich, secure environment with 1.8 million active users who make over 100 million transactions every month; a 70% volumes increase year on year.

FNB’s brand promise of helpfulness now extends beyond highly competitive home loans solutions

Together with cars, customers spend over 50% of their household income on paying off their homes and traditionally moving house is a stressful experience for families. FNB’s brand promise of helpfulness now extends beyond highly competitive home loans solutions and into the value-adding support they can get from nav>> home during this time. Features such as free instant value estimates, area and property reports, instant pre-approvals, property searches and the business directory can now significantly reduce these stresses. Nearly 20% of all FNB home loans now originate from the platform and efficiency savings of up to R10k per application are passed back to customers.

the internal framework allows distributed development on shared digital platforms with a consistent, high quality user experience

Both nav>> car and home were implemented on the bank’s highly innovative IT architecture which features a proprietary integration and UX framework. Delivery is thus significantly faster and the internal framework allows distributed development on shared digital platforms with a consistent, high quality user experience. One of the questions from the judging panel after our presentation queried the internal dynamics between business and IT and whether there were any challenges. We explained that balancing rapid prototyping of new ideas with scaleable, robust IT architectures was a continued focus, made possible by our owner-manager culture and world class internal IT skills.

we made it clear that we aim to disrupt rather than be disrupted

Other questions related to the long term future and strategy of the bank, both locally and internationally and how we planned to position ourselves for continued growth. Having modelled much of our thinking and business models on household names like Apple and Uber we made it clear that we aim to disrupt rather than be disrupted; people will always need banking but they might not need banks as they currently exist. Additionally, the rapid migration of customers to from ‘bricks’ to ‘clicks’ must not diminish the importance of financial inclusion through education and ongoing helpfulness that sees people move from ‘popping in’ to ‘logging in’.

We were humbled by the overwhelming support for the work we have done to disrupt banking

Digitally enabled helpfulness is about how we help our business and individual customers navigate and manage their biggest expenses with slick and simple solutions. The products and platforms that we shared at Fintech Africa are integrated and executed within our ever widening, exponentially helpful ecosystem and its enabling digital platform. We were humbled by the overwhelming support for the work we have done to disrupt banking; our customers and staff make our success possible – the Fintech Africa ‘Most Innovative African Bank’ award belongs to each one of them.

 

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