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Johannesburg – FNB announced on Monday that the number of branches with active free Wi-Fi connections reached 383 as of February as the bank continues to offer free internet connectivity to customers in its branches.

Over the years, FNB has moved to digitise its branches and offer the option of transacting via digital channels or over the counter.

Chief executive of FNB Points of Presence, Lee-Anne van Zyl, said over 200 000 customers connected to the internet via free FNB Wi-Fi in branches by January.

Van Zyl said in a statement that the process of providing free Wi-Fi was ongoing, however, the bank aimed to steadily increase connectivity across most of its branch outlets, especially high capacity branches.

"The roll out of free Wi-Fi is another value-add which shows our commitment to helping all FNB customers bank digitally," Van Zyl said.

"The fundamental aim of this initiative is to offer cheaper banking alternatives for customers through the availability free high speed Wi-Fi.

Currently, about 187 FNB branches are connected via internet fibre, which enables connectivity at faster speeds."

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Van Zyl said FNB also has dedicated eBankers across 195 select branches that are deployed to assist customers at Digital Zones, which enable customers to transact via their online profiles within the branch.

The role of eBankers is to assist customers who transact digitally by giving support where necessary.

"We have seen a marked increase in the use of Digital Zones at branches as customers have the option to use online banking, the FNB Banking App or cell phone banking. There's clearly an appetite for digital banking, but as more customers adopt digital channels we will have to balance this with customers' education," van Zyl said.