FNB is taking banking to the unbanked with their new smartphone aimed at the low-end market. FNB’s ConeXis A1 will cost a R500 refundable deposit and R59 a month for 24 months.
Yesterday, FNB announced the unveiling of their two new branded smartphones. The phones will be available on Friday, 26 August at all FNB major urban branches. For the entry level model, all you need to do is put down a deposit of R500, agree to the R59 monthly fee, and without a credit check, you could take home FNB's ConeXis A1. The deposit will then sit in an interest bearing account (at 5.5% per year), and be available to you once your smartphone is paid off.
Increasing smartphone and banking penetration
FNB's thinking, explains Jan Kleynhans, CEO of the FNB Consumer Segment is that with only 40% of South Africans currently owning a smartphone, this highly accessible offer will increase smartphone penetration. And of course with increased smartphone penetration, comes the potential to increase banking penetration, and reach the 30% of the unbanked population.The ConeXis A1 integrates FNB's banking apps, e-Wallet and a range of educational videos to help their lower-earning consumers access world class banking from anywhere."With technology advancing so quickly it is important that people control their lives, at their leisure. And that they have a sense that there is a bank in their pocket," elaborated Kleynhans.He added that the R500 deposit required ties in with their philosophy of helping South Africans to save more money for the future. It will also serve as an 'insurance policy' in case the user absconds with the phone and stops their monthly payments.
A value-for-money value proposition
"With jobs being scare we also want to emphasize how we can stretch people's money. Our new marketing campaign that we are launching this month talks about how ever cent counts.He explains that by increasing access to their banking app, which currently enjoys the attention of 1 million users, banking will become a lot more accessible. He gives the example of paying electricity or checking your balance while on the train or standing in a taxi queue."If you look at other devices pegged at the low-end market, this little number packs a serious punch," affirmed Kartik Mistry, head of smart devices at FNB at the launch and media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday where the four-inch phone was demoed.
A bank in your pocket
"We know that low-end customers are waking up early in the morning to catch public transport, and taking their phones everywhere. So we have also included a power bank with the smartphone as well as a very durable gel cover," he added.He also explained to media that by making the phone durable and lasting, they are ensuring that every cent that goes into paying off the phone counts.Kleynhans explained that while they are looking at cellphone insurance options for the higher end phone, the X1, the A1 users would not be the right market for an additional insurance product.We will watch eagerly how the low-end market takes to the new all-in-one banking-smartphone package.Click here to get the new FNB mobile package!