South African Bank’s Mobile App Becomes Zero-Rated Across All Networks

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

South Africa’s First National Bank has taken the decision to make their mobile app zero-rated across all mobile networks in the country, following discussions with all of the major service providers.

This means that users can use the mobile app without using their data, enjoying free app services while on all networks including Vodacom, MTN and Cell C.

The bank already offers free access to its mobile app to all First National Bank Connect customers, and free WiFi is available in most of the bank’s branches for customers to download the app.

First National Bank is aiming to attract customers to use lower-cost digital platforms such as the app rather than going into branches to do their banking, and zero-rating the app is expected to convince customers to do just that, according to TechCentral.

First National Bank Digital spokesperson, Giuseppe Virgillito explained that the bank’s app continues to be popular, and making it zero-rated will increase ease of access for all.

“Since launching the app six years ago, not only has it become the most downloaded, but also the most popular banking app amongst consumers as recently rated in the SAcsi and Columinate SITEisfaction Index’s 2017,” Virgillito said, according to ITNewsAfrica.

“We believe that access to data or airtime should not be a barrier to safe and convenient banking for South Africans. 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,” added Virgillito.

Zero-rated mobile app for innovative bank

First National Bank has built a reputation for innovation and providing customers with digital banking options that are world-class in nature.

In 2012 First National Bank was named the world’s most innovative bank of the year at the 2012 BAI-Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards, and last year the bank was awarded the title of the Most Innovative Bank in Africa at the 2016 African Fintech Awards, according to IT-Online.

The First Nation Bank mobile app features innovative solutions such as fingerprint access, secure chat with customer service representatives, one-touch fraud reporting, location services to pinpoint the closest branches and rewards partners, as well as the typical banking and transactional services.