FNB reinventing its legacy

FNB is entrenched as an integral part of SA with its logo depicting an Acacia tree against a rising sun

28 October 2020 - 15:18 By Jacques Celliers
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FNB launched the first set of ATMs in SA in 1981.
FNB launched the first set of ATMs in SA in 1981.
Image: Kevin Sutherland

Tracing its history back to 1838 and a small branch in the Eastern Cape, FNB has a deep, trusted legacy intertwined with the history of SA and wider Southern Africa. These foundations create an intangible but rich fabric in the minds of customers who are driven by present-day realities, yet find assurance in the permanence of the brand.

As an iconic and instantly recognisable brand, FNB is entrenched as an integral part of SA, with its logo depicting an Acacia tree against a rising sun. The bank is one of few brands to hold a consistent position of “help” since the early 2000s. Over the years “How can we help you?” has evolved but remained relevant to changing social needs and agile in its response to the opportunities or challenges of the time.

It is these values of trustworthiness and helpfulness that propelled FNB to respond comprehensively during the pandemic to fulfil an essential services mandate and bring financial relief to individuals and businesses. By acting positively in a time of need, and by maintaining this value system, FNB plays an important role on a much wider stage, beyond pure functional help.

Legacy further creates continuum threads that point to the future. It is this sense of understanding between the customer and the brand that is not easy to quantify but is of vast value. The bank’s proud history reflects consistent themes of employees adapting to more complex customer needs requiring the adoption of leading capabilities at defining points in time.

For example, in 1965 the bank built its first computer centre. At the time, it was one of the largest computers in SA and 20,000 bank accounts were computerised. A few years later the bank issued the country’s first credit cards. In 1981 it launched the first set of ATMs in the country; a significant step towards digital interaction between the bank and its customers. FNB takes pride in its long track record of fintech-related innovations. From pioneering gamification and electronic currencies through eBucks.com in 2000, to launching the first banking app in Africa, among other innovations. It has a track record of not only regularly introducing new concepts, but through continuous enhancements ensuring large-scale relevance and mass adoption over time.

About the author: Jacques Celliers is FNB CEO.
About the author: Jacques Celliers is FNB CEO.
Image: Supplied/FNB

eBucks, the banking app and the more recent invest-, insure- and connect-related activities are all examples of offerings our customers find valuable in their lives. Through exponential data and technology platforms in play over the past two decades the business enables more contextually relevant financial services solutions beyond traditional transactional banking.

Methods of interaction are secondary to the fundamental relationship between the customer and the bank. Financial services is intangible in the sense that it enables transactions and financial management rather than manufacturing products. Few things in life evoke more emotion than one’s finances.

Being a trusted partner to the broader society and at an individual customer level, is a timeless purpose and ultimately a source of inspiration for so many of the innovations the business tries to deliver. Hence so many modern mature approaches and solutions are available for financial education and money management, leveraging new age enablers on FNB platforms at present.  

Ultimately, building trusted relationships over time with quality employees and customers has become a fundamental cornerstone for the business. FNB continues to be grateful for its amazing employees and incredible customers. For us, it says something about you if you work at FNB and similarly if you or your business banks, invests, insures, connects with FNB. This becomes more evident in times of challenge as per the current pandemic, where deeply invested, trusted employees and honourable, can-do attitude clients continue to make magic despite very challenging environments.

The journey continues ...

This article was paid for by Mazda.