FNB banks on 'family banking' to convince customers to switch

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FNB says "family banking" is a big focus for the bank.
FNB says "family banking" is a big focus for the bank.
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  • FNB says "family banking" is a big focus for the bank.
  • The bank is hoping that its customers will find its new offering attractive for their families.
  • FNB is offering a 50% discount on monthly fees for spouses' and children's accounts - with no monthly admin fees.

FNB is incentivising its customers to convince their families to switch. Earlier this month, the bank announced that it will give a 50% discount on monthly banking fees for spouses and that minors will pay no monthly administration fees when it tabled its 2021 banking fees.

On Monday, the CEO of FNB Retail and Private Banking, Raj Makanjee, said "banking the family" was a big part of FNB's customer growth strategy.

"We've got a lot of clients where only one member of the family banks with us. We've launched major changes to our family value proposition, and we believe this change will make families sitting around the table, the braai, the dinner table say, 'why don't we all go there,'" said Makanjee. 

Rob Gwerengwe, the CEO of the FNB middle-market segment, said the bank has been trying to get this "family banking" proposition going for a while. But customers have been asking what value they'll get by delivering their whole families to FNB - hence the bank's response to slash fees for spouses and children. But FNB is also trying to develop a customer base of minors that will hopefully grow with it until they can have accounts that generate meaningful fees for the bank.

The bank hopes that free data, airtime, and a R140 monthly admin charges for a family of four under its new Aspire bundle will be a big drawcard for middle-income consumers. Gwerengwe said the middle-income segment market is a key target segment for FNB.

"We are really going quite hard around banking your family," said Gwerengwe.

FNB, which launched a new brand campaign on Monday, plans to make a lot of noise about its family banking strategy. The middle-income consumer segment seems to be a key target for "family banking" propositions. While FNB offers it across its bundled bank accounts, Absa offers 50% off spouses' monthly fees on its Premium Banking cheque accounts.

Big push to convince customers to switch

As retaining customers and growing the numbers is the goal as challenger banks threaten to take incumbents' market share, FNB also wants to be more than just a bank to its customers. 

The bank's chief marketing officer, Faye Mfikwe, said FNB realises that while many of its customers have had to adapt to things like income changes, they still aspire to do the same things as before. So, FNB wants to position itself as the bank that's willing to hold their hands – thus the launch of the Aspire black card. 

FNB has dedicated big marketing spend to a new brand campaign, hoping it will be a big push towards convincing customers that it is the bank that cares the most and ultimately to switch.

"There's a job to be done in terms of retaining our existing customers and ensuring that they believe they are at the right place in terms of banking with us. But there's also a job to be done n in terms of acquiring customers, said Mfikwe.

She said in the next two weeks, FNB will start showing the "proof points" to convince other banks' clients that "perhaps it is the time to change". 

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