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FNB was one of the first banks in South Africa to introduce an app as a banking tool. This proved to be an important step towards enabling digital banking.
This also meant that accessing FNB banking services required data bundles. There was, therefore, a push back on social networks by what seemed to be lower and middle market of FNB. The bank must have noticed the concern by clients and worked on a solution which can explain today's change on FNB App.

As from today, FNB will be  slashing data charges for its banking app, meaning customers who use its banking app will no longer need data to access it via their smartphones.

This follows a deal with all major mobile network operators in South Africa to zero-rate access to the FNB Banking App, allowing all customers to use it at no cost.

The bank already offers free access to its app to all FNB Connect customers, and offers free wi-fi in most FNB branches for customers to download the app. FNB digital spokesperson Giuseppe Virgillito said not only had the app become the most downloaded since its launch six years ago but was also the popular banking app among consumers as recently rated in the 2017 SAcsi and Columinate SITEisfaction Index.

“We believe access to data or airtime should not be a barrier to safe and convenient banking. The zero-rating of the app is in line with our broader strategy to migrate customers to digital and electronic channels where a number of transactions and services are already offered free of charge,” Virgillito said.

“We attribute the success of the app to continuous innovation and meeting more than the basic banking needs of our customers.”

The app features solutions such as FNB Pay, Fingerprint ID, Secure Chat, Smart inContact, 1-touch Report Fraud, eBucks Partner locator and FNB TV, among others. 

This move is probably a beginning of data free banking in South Africa. It will probably inspire other banks to innovate and offer improved and cost effective digital banking services.