FNB is wary of new banks Discovery and Bank Zero Picture: Bloomberg
DURBAN - First National Bank's CEO Jacques Celliers has highlighted his banks dominance in South Africa at an event in Sandton this week.

According to Celliers, a third of the cards swiped in South Africa are owned by FNB. The bank has also made significant strides in innovation. FNB users will be able to open an account by taking a selfie with the app and they have launched eBucks Travel on the FNB on the FNB App that is a complete travel service.

However, the entrance of five new banking options are set to change the banking market and they can be a threat to FNB.

Two of the new banks are digital-only banks, TYME Digital and Bank Zero. The other new bank is a full-service bank called Discovery Bank. Established banks African Bank and Postbank will be relaunching with retail banking services.

Bank Zero was founded by former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan and will launch towards the latter part of 2018 after being granted a temporary licence by the South African Reserve Bank.

According to TymeDigital, by Commonwealth Bank SA they hope to be functional by the second quarter. Discovery has started live testing their banking abilities. They are also testing their system infrastructure, operating processes and regulatory engagement.

At the event, when asked about what keeps him up at night, Celliers pointed to the new entrants Bank Zero and Discovery Bank. He said that the competitor spirit from the banks will change-up the banking industry.

According to My Broadband, Celliers said that FNB Connect is performing really well in South Africa. FNB Connect has reached more than 500 000 mobile subscribers in South Africa.

FNB Connect which is run on Cell C offers users various cellular services including mobile data packages.

The bank's mobile app is zero-rated across all networks. This means that FNB customers do not use any data when doing their finances using the app.

FNB, yesterday, launched a new digital innovation which allows individuals and businesses to open bank accounts in a few minutes by taking a selfie and uploading it into the bank's App.

Speaking at the launch Celliers said "Selfie" - the name of the service - was the bank's latest step towards paperless banking.

He said the App would move the bank "from being a digital innovator to being a data-driven contextual platform disruptor". It had taken at least 18 months and more than 500 tech staff members to build and the bank was leveraging the relationship it had with third parties like the department of home affairs to make it a success.

"The real message is that we are on this exponential helpfulness journey. And now, with the help of technology, we can do so much more than we used to do. That's our purpose," Celliers said.