Tag: FNB

FNB suffers major outage on Freedom Day

Source: MyBroadband

First National Bank (FNB) suffered an outage on Wednesday, with customers complaining that they could not pay with their cards or withdraw money from ATMs.

Others reported online banking issues and problems with the FNB app.

Posts have flooded in from across the country on social media, and some customers have also been unable to send airtime or access e-wallet services.

“Why is the card machines saying bank offline?? I can’t pay for petrol,” one user wrote on Facebook.

“Is it just me or your FNB cellphone app is acting wild today???” another said on Twitter.

Downdetector shows a spike in outages that started just before 09:00 on Wednesday, 27 April 2022.

It appears that business customers are also experiencing issues with FNB’s services.

“Morning broer why is FNB down are you guys on holiday as well, got issues with my business account that needs urgent intervention,” another Twitter post reads.

Some are having problems with their point of sale (POS) devices.

“Can someone contact me please my POS devices are not working,” a Facebook user said.

A MyBroadband staff member confirmed that there were issues with FNB’s mobile app. Below is the error message they were presented when trying to log in.

As of 12:30, FNB has confirmed that all of its services are now fully operational and apologised for the outage.

“FNB apologises to customers for the connectivity issues that occurred earlier this morning. We can confirm that all our services are now fully operational,” it told MyBroadband.

“We thank our valuable customers for their patience and ongoing support.”

 

South Africans are becoming poorer, FNB warns

Source: Supermarket & Retailer 

FNB forecasts a considerable decrease in real household disposable income in 2022, with South Africans expected to have even less money available for discretionary spending in the coming months.

The group noted that disposable income growth would slow from 5.9% in 2021 to 2.1% this year, partly due to a higher inflation forecast and gradually rising interest rates this year – and in part due to higher income base effects in 2021.

Disposable income growth in 2022 could also be under pressure from a fragile employment situation, the bank said in a note on Wednesday (20 April).

“Last year’s resurgence in disposable income growth had much to do with a significant resurgence in income from investments following the 2020 dip and less to do with any meaningful employment growth. By the final quarter of 2021, total employment was still in a year-on-year decline to the tune of -3.2% and was still a massive -11.4% down on the fourth quarter of 2019.

“One positive to partly offset this employment negative has been an extension of the Social Relief of Distress Grant; a special relief grant started up during the Covid-19 lockdown period. But this grant can only go so far and will be hard-pressed to offset employment, inflation and interest rate hiking negatives.”

Inflation

Statistics South Africa reported that annual consumer price inflation quickened to 5.9% in March from 5.7% in February, placing it just below the upper limit (6%) of the South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy target range.

Transport, housing and utilities, and food and non-alcoholic beverages were the most significant contributors, with transport contributing 2.1 percentage points to the annual rate.

“In the household financial data of the SARB, we had already seen consumer price inflation, as measured by the Private Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Deflator, accelerate from 1.9% year-on-year as at the final quarter of 2020 to 4.8% by the final quarter of 2021,” FNB said.

“This acceleration directly curbs real disposable income growth, eating away at an increased portion of the growth in nominal disposable income.”

From a low of 2% year-on-year in May 2021, the bank said that the 3.7 percentage points rise in CPI inflation by February 2022 has already taken a very significant bite out of disposable income.

“In addition, the onset of SARB interest rate hiking late in 2021, with three 25 basis points’ worth of hikes to date as a result of rising CPI inflation, takes an additional bite out of disposable income, with the Household Sector debt-service ratio likely to have risen in the first quarter of 2022 as a result.”

“Food price inflation had been troublesome in 2021 already, but a surge in global oil prices led to high domestic petrol price inflation (reflected in the CPI for transport) that was a major driver of the acceleration in overall CPI inflation.”

In more recent times, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, along with resultant boycotts and sanctions, has significantly increased risks of global and thus domestic food price inflation pressures, global energy price pressures, and broader global supply chain disruption pressures, FNB said.

“And even more recently, last week, the severe KZN floods not only caused major damage to peoples’ homes and property but also to businesses and transport, including disruptions to goods flows through Durban, SA’s biggest port. Any supply chain disruptions from this could threaten the inflation environment still further.”

SA sees surge in contactless payments

Source: Engineering News

FNB says South African consumers and businesses are increasingly using smart devices to make contactless tap-to-pay payments. According to FNB, its retail and commercial clients processed in excess of R4.2 billion in contactless payments via smart devices in 2021, compared to just R640 million in 2020. The average monthly spend has soared from just R53 million (2020) and R350 million (2021) to nearly a billion (R935 million) in the last 3 months.

Raj Makanjee, CEO of FNB Retail, says, “The growth validates our belief that digital is central to the future of payments, and we are encouraged by our customers’ appetite to embrace digital migration. We believe that digital payments enable consumers, merchants, and providers to improve the efficiency of the payments ecosystem. As a result, we’re thrilled to be facilitating this transition by providing our customers with a broader range of industry-leading payment solutions on our digital platform.”

The sentiment is echoed by Gordon Little, CEO of FNB Commercial, who says, “Businesses are critical to accelerating the adoption of digital payments by enabling wider acceptance. “This is why we’re equipping our merchants to be able to support and drive such a migration, and we’re pleased with the sustained growth in the rate of digital payments acceptance among our merchants,” he says.

Through FNB Pay on the FNB App, the bank supports several digital wallets, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit, and Garmin, and customers can also link their FNB Virtual Cards to a digital wallet.

The virtual card has a dynamic CVV number that changes on a regular basis to reduce the risk of fraud. Customers can use their virtual cards to pay for online purchases, streaming services, subscriptions, and at the majority of QR code providers via the FNB app’s Scan to Pay feature. Furthermore, customers who make purchases with their FNB Virtual Card get free Purchase Protect cover for the first 30 days post purchase, up to R15 000.

In its recent interim results, FNB revealed that its digitally active customers increased to 6.21 million for the six months ending December 2021. FNB customers’ digital logins totalled 804 million, with the FNB App contributing nearly 500 million logins in six months.

FNB steps up e-commerce effort

Source: IOL

As a leader in innovation, FNB continues to invest significantly in creating new platform-based capabilities and solutions to ensure that it stays ahead of changing market dynamics and evolving customer needs.

Given the growing need to accelerate the shift from cash to digital and card payments, coupled with the phenomenal growth of eCommerce, the Bank is expanding its payments ecosystem with two industry leading SME solutions, namely FNB WebStore, and FNB Android Speedpoint®device.

The solutions will offer a simple, easy and cost-effective way for businesses in South Africa to accept payments from customers.

FNB CEO, Jacques Celliers says, “Over the last decade the payments industry has seen a dynamic shift – from the internet and smartphones driving the adoption of mobile payments, end of cheques as a form of payment, to the current pandemic-induced reduction in the transactional usage of cash, as well as the boom in eCommerce.”

“Our payments innovations are in tune with the step-change in digital adoption and preference for contactless methods of transacting among customers, while enhancing efficiency and user experience. FNB aims to innovate in a manner that reduces complexity and offers customers more choice and convenient solutions through its trusted digital platform. Therefore, we continue providing payments solutions that are more advanced, safer, and cost-effective for both businesses and individual customers. Our customers and merchants both expect a swift and secure digital experience,” says Celliers.

“As part of our journey, our goal involves enabling both the individual end-user and merchants through an integrated ecosystem. This, for example, leads to a seamless shopping experience whether a customer is paying via Virtual Card, EFT, Tap-to-Pay or Scan-to-Pay via FNB Pay, as well as contactless payments which recently surpassed chip and pin payments. We are excited to continue leading the future of payments in our markets and will continue to invest into our digital platform for a contextual and frictionless experience,” says Raj Makanjee, FNB Retail CEO.

Gordon Little, FNB Commercial CEO says, “Traditionally, the adoption of new payment methods is largely driven by consumer-led demand. However, our objective is to equally empower businesses to support adoption through efficient payment acceptance rails. As a result, our solutions cater for the entire business value chain, of which the ability to process convenient, hassle-free and safe payments is a key component. This will help to facilitate digital payments acceptance among business clients which remains key to helping merchants grow and better service their customers.”

In the coming months, FNB will embark on a phased roll-out of the following solutions:

FNB WebStore

FNB WebStore will provide businesses with a fully functional eCommerce website. While external developers and Content Management Systems (CMS) help a business to create their website, it can often be a complicated and lengthily process.

As a result, with this solution, businesses don’t need design or development skills, won’t carry any costs of hosting or partner integrations, or spend time on writing basic web content and creating web optimized designs. The merchant will have payment capability as part of the package for credit and debit card transactions in a secure manner.

The websites are built on industry leading platforms, WordPress and WooCommerce, with designs based on Divi themes and then tailored for the business’ specific needs and desires. The solution is also integrated with a courier service for product deliveries to customers, as well as integration into social media and basic search engine optimisation (SEO) for marketing the site.

“Creating an online shop is often complicated and expensive, especially for a business who may not have the skills or experience to do it. We hold the merchant’s hand through the process and guide them with creating and designing a modern website, uploading their products, provide support, and connect them to a payments and delivery integration,” explains Little.

FNB Android Speedpoint® device

The new affordable FNB Android POS device has been upgraded with innovative technology that merchants need to keep their businesses up to date and running smoother. This device is designed with business’ needs in mind and includes better functionality and usability.

Additional benefits

Full touch screen for more visibility and information displayed
4G, GPRS, BT and WIFI enabled ensuring your business is always connected to access remote updates
Longer battery life for extended use and less charging time needed.
For more information read here.

 

Source: IOL

FNB has announced that contactless payments have surpassed chip and PIN contact payments for the first time.

The bank attributes the shift from chip contact to contactless to consumers’ preferences and awareness of convenient and quicker means to pay at a point-of-sale.

“This is a remarkable milestone for the financial services industry, and it augurs well for efforts to improve safety and convenience in the payments network,” said FNB payments executive Raj Makanjee. “We are delighted to see our customers pioneering what we believe to be the future of payments globally. It goes without saying that the pandemic has definitely accelerated the growth in contactless payments as consumers and retailers continue to prioritise safety, convenience and efficiency.”

In March and April this year, customers processed over 30 million contactless payments, worth over R10 billion in each month, according to Chris Labuschagne, chief executive of FNB Card.

“Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen year on year growth which ranged from 200 percent on regular months and over 400 percent during peak periods,” said Labuschagne. “We firmly believe that new solutions like our virtual card on our digital platform will significantly accelerate this trend, supported by a willing customer base which continues to lead the market on the use of efficient financial services tools.”

According to FNB, the scope for growth in contactless payments remains vast and the bank is of the view that chip contact and contactless payments will continue to compete over the medium term.

However, as more retailers roll-out contactless point-of-sale devices for greater efficiency, FNB sees better growth prospects in consumer usage and adoption.

“We remain committed to providing a wide range of unique and innovative payment solutions that are centred around true customer and business value,” Labuschagne concluded.

 

According to a recent Business Tech article, businesses are often unaware that by giving a third-party or software programmes access to their financial information, they are potentially being exposed to the risk of screen scraping. This is a data gathering technique that tricks users into providing internet banking login details to a third-party website.

  • The third-party logs onto to your Internet banking using your details. This exposes you to potential risks of fraud, financial crime and data privacy risks
  • There are risks associated with instant online EFT (electronic fund transaction) payments
  • There are risks for businesses that sign over authority to a third party to access their banking and client information
  • The most common screen scraping from a business perspective would be when businesses use software that are authorised to access banking transactions.
  • This may also leave your business vulnerable to third parties accessing your company data and even that of your clients.
  • Companies that use screen scraping to facilitate transactions on your behalf may have no intention of compromising your account or committing fraud, but the risk remains.

FNB: how to protect your company data

  • Be vigilant when it comes to reading through any terms and conditions on any software or website before you click “accept”.
  • Make use of an application security testing tool before you sign any agreements authorising access to your company data.
  • Cloud-based software is not without its own risks. Insist on having both testing and sandbox environments, providing analysis for security gaps.
  • Find out from your third-party software vendors if they use open-source tools in their product. How they deal with open source can be a high risk if not done properly.
  • Do not share login credentials with any third parties and never enter these into any third party websites other than their own bank’s legitimate platforms.

FNB blocks customer credit cards without warning

Source: MyBroadband

Numerous FNB customers are complaining that their credit cards have been blocked on Sunday without prior warning.

Reports of the issue were widespread on Twitter and FNB’s Downdetector page, which saw a big spike in complaints from around 13:00.

Customers reported that attempting to transact with their credit card would result in the payment being declined and the following text message being sent to them:

Outstanding documents are required to comply with FICA. Please call the number on the back of your card.

Multiple Twitter users claimed this notification appeared to be coming out of the blue, as they had not been asked to provide FICA documents before Sunday.

“Went shopping only to find out my CC [credit card] transactions are being declined pending FICA documents! What FICA documents? I was never asked for FICA documents! Absolutely ridiculous,” one Twitter user said.

“Credit card transactions declined. The card was working fine yesterday,” another customer stated.

“Both myself and my wife’s cards declining apparently due to outstanding FICA documents. No communication from FNB. We have no access to our money. Can’t pay for fuel or food,” a third user stated.

The problem appeared to be impacting both in-person and online transactions.

One MyBroadband reader was also experiencing the issue, with his credit card account showing R0 available despite not having reached its limit.

According to Downdetector’s outage map, the majority of reports were coming from Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth.

On Monday, FNB confirmed to MyBroadband that the issue has been resolved.

“The bank sincerely apologises to impacted customers for the inconvenience caused,” Labuschagne said.

It did not elaborate further as to what caused the glitch.

 

Source: Business Insider SA

Online business registrations are surging in South Africa, FNB says.

The dire financial consequences for many during South Africa’s lockdown have forced business owners to change their strategies and business plans in order to survive, it believes.

Many have used the lockdown period to either open their own personal services, or to formalise existing business for relief funding and operating permits.

Online business registrations are surging in South Africa, says First National Bank, as South Africans change course to adapt to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on traditional businesses.

The country’s strict lockdown meant that mining and manufacturing ground to a halt for weeks. The impact on the hospitality sector was also devastating, resulting in job losses for many South Africans and a sharp economic decline.

The dire financial consequences for many have forced business owners to change their strategies and business plans in order to survive, with many using the lockdown period to either open their own personal services, or to formalise existing business for relief funding and operating permits, the bank believes.

FNB data shows an increase in the number of businesses using a government initiative where entrepreneurs use the BizPortal.gov.za website to register their new businesses at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

Gauteng led with 44% of applications followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 13%, Mpumalanga at 10%, and the Western Cape at 9%.

“We are seeing a strong uptake through this portal as well as an increase in applications through our normal CIPC interactions, where clients can register a company on FNB’s website. This indicates that more and more entrepreneurs want to formalise their businesses in order take advantage of new opportunities presented as a result of Covid and further benefit from financial support provided by both private and public sector,” says Lauren Deva, head of sales for transactional products at FNB Business.

“When the BizPortal started, we initially had an average of 700 registrations a month. However, this significantly increased to 14,000 registrations during the lockdown period, between April and end of August. On average 2,800 businesses were registered per month via the portal,” says Deva.

 

By Sibahle Malinga for ITWeb

First National Bank (FNB) has become the latest financial institution to introduce a virtual bank card for individual and business customers.

Launched this morning, as part of its strategy to expand the big-four bank’s digital payments ecosystem, the FNB virtual card will be made available to individual customers across debit, fusion and credit cards, and for business customers on debit cards from October.

The completely digital bank card, which has a separate card number from the physical card, is accessible through the FNB app and the RMB Private Banking app and on wearable devices for contactless payments, where it can be created and topped up with cash on an ongoing basis.

It can be used on any e-commerce site, including international platforms, and at brick-and-mortar merchants.

Standard Bank and digital solutions credit provider FASTA are among the local companies that have also introduced virtual cards to enable contactless payments at retailers.

Demand for online and contactless payments has surged in recent months, with many people opting out of making cash payments or using touch point-of-sale machines, amid fears of the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking at the launch during a webinar this morning, Raj Makanjee, FNB payments executive, said the introduction of the FNB virtual card is part of the bank’s journey to avail convenient and safer solutions via a secure platform, as part of its platform-based strategy.

“We have made significant strides in enabling our customers to use digital payments, even when they shop at a physical point-of-sale. We believe that digital payments are a more convenient, secure and cost-effective solution for both the consumer and the merchant.

“FNB and RMB Private Bank customers are able to create and link their virtual cards to the transactional accounts they have with us. Customers have the flexibility to create multiple virtual cards for each transactional account to better manage spend. They can also use the virtual card to pay digitally via scan to pay, tap to pay or during check-out for online purchases,” said Makanjee.

The FNB virtual card means customers no longer need to rely on a physical card at merchants that have tap to pay functionality, as they can either use an Android smart device or an Apple device where the merchant accepts QR code payments.

The virtual card can be uploaded and used on various online subscription platforms, such as iTunes, Google Play Store, Netflix and Spotify. Additionally, spending via the virtual card will provide customers with eBucks rewards, notes FNB.

Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB Credit Card, pointed out that the bank’s encryption and security features prompt customers to authenticate the transaction on the mobile app, as opposed to receiving an OTP SMS, to reduce reliance on OTPs, which make customers vulnerable to fraud.

“Consumers and businesses are adopting convenient ways to shop and pay; therefore, security becomes a critical factor. One of the key security features on our virtual card is a dynamic card verification value (CVV) security number that changes every hour to help customers minimise the risk of fraud when shopping online. The virtual card will be safely stored on the app and customers will have the ability to temporarily block, cancel or replace the card via our app.”

The expiry date is also longer than a physical card, which allows the customer to keep using the card without being worried about an expiry period, noted Labuschagne.

R450m worth of eBucks spent during lockdown

Source: IOL

While many people are still coming to terms with the financial difficulties caused by Covid-19 and the national lockdown, FNB customers have turned to eBucks rewards to help them extend and better manage their finances.

Johan Moolman, eBucks Rewards Chief Executive said, “We’ve seen how eBucks members are using their rewards to buy essentials. Since the start of the national lockdown towards the end of March, members have spent over R451 million worth of eBucks on things like fuel, groceries, airtime and data and other day-to-day necessities, helping them stretch their monthly budgets even further”.

He said that the tools they have provided members are helping them save and grow their money every day.

“We want to help our members to earn eBucks so they can use them to supplement their household income, especially during these times of uncertainty. This is why we’ve introduced tools on the FNB App such as ‘Track my rewards’ and ‘Earn more eBucks’, which allow members to track their current banking behaviour daily and easily perform the necessary banking behaviours to move up a reward level and earn more eBucks in the upcoming month,” said Moolman.

He points out that the value of a good rewards programme goes far beyond just the day-to-day rewards that members enjoy. A valuable rewards programme should also be designed to enable members to practice good money management and encourage them to grow their savings to protect their future.

eBucks Rewards members earn reward level points for having an FNB savings or investment account, maintaining a healthy credit status with nav» Money on the FNB App, and for using Cash@Till withdrawals.

It’s important to encourage members to bank responsibly and manage their finances well.

“At FNB, our philosophy has always been to find ways to help our customers. Through our eBucks Rewards programme, we are delivering on that promise,” concluded Moolman.

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