FNB launches mobile banking app

Cape Town - First National Bank has become the first bank in SA to launch a mobile banking app for major platforms.

On Tuesday FNB launched banking apps for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry in an apparent bid to attract customers who already use the company's internet-based banking service.

In addition to all the functions of web-based banking, the free app also features ATM location, based on the GPS location services provided by tablets and smartphones.

It is unlikely that this app will replace the way the majority of users access cellphone banking services in the short term, but as the price of smart devices continues to decline, there may be an increase in the number of clients using the app.

Users were generally receptive to the app's launch.

"Easy to register and even easier to use thereafter! Well done guys!" wrote user EFGooseman on iTunes.

"This is the way banking should be done," wrote Jim987654.

However, a quick test conducted by News24 revealed that the app had difficulty connecting on an iPad and iPhone, but seemed to work well on a BlackBerry.

In SA, the predominant smartphone is BlackBerry with close to 70% of the market at the moment, but Android devices are rapidly gaining market share.

Apple dominates the tablet sector with the iPad, but Samsung and BlackBerry maker RIM (Research In Motion) are targeting that market with competing devices this year.

Samsung has launch the new Galaxy Tab in South Korea on Wednesday. It is powered by Android, while RIM is to launch the PlayBook with the QNX operating system in SA soon.


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