First National Bank of South Africa recently told BBC that they are not about to replace people with technology but they are also no longer a bank but a technological platform for banking operations hoping to solidify and strengthen their footprints.
Jacques Cilliers, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company said as poorer communities across Africa prefer physical transactions and physical cash to online banking, FNB says it has developed easy solutions that would allay their fears.
The solutions are also speedy and you can solve the problem of a Personal Identification Number (PIN) forgotten within minutes.
Cilliers said though people feel vulnerable using technology but that the solutions to their acclaimed vulnerability is in the same technology.
Cilliers showed off FNB’s cardless service via the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) as one of the solutions FNB offers to clients, in which, no PIN or card is required.
Mobile money, e-commerce and simplified communications between the bank and clients are part of the bank’s strengths as it sets to lead in the African banking space.
Ability to responsibly utilise customers data for mutual benefits between the bank and the clients is one of the strategies Cilliers pointed out that makes FNB different.
FNB is the oldest bank in South Africa with origin traced back to the Eastern triocrees Province Bank, which was formed in Grahamstown in 1838.
From the scratch, the bank financed the wool export boom in the district and by 1874, the bank had four branches – at Grahamstown, Middelburg, Cradock and Queenstown.
The bank was bought out in 1874 by the Oriental Bank Corporation (OBC) due to economic recession.
However, the Oriental Bank Corporation experienced troubles in India and withdrew from South Africa. Thereafter, the Bank of Africa was formed in 1879 to take over the OBC’s business in South Africa.
Afterward, the government of the South African Republic desired to create a local commercial bank, due to the discovery of gold in Barberton and the Witwatersrand.
The government thus created a bank through a concession agreement to focus primarily on financing agricultural development.
A state mint was also established as part of the concession and The Nationale Bank der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek Beperk (National Bank of the South African Republic Limited) was registered in Pretoria in 1891 and opened for business on 5 April of the same year.
After the conclusion of the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1902, the name of this bank was changed to the National Bank of South Africa Limited which is First National Bank of South Africa (FNB).