SMEs and selfies stick for FNB account opening
First National Bank (FNB) has given SMEs the option to switch or open a new bank account through selfie authentication and digital know your customer (KYC) on its app.
According to the South African bank, this paperless cheque account opening process uses biometric technology to validate the business and its owner, allows the SME to order and courier new cards, switch debit orders and set up digital banking.
FNB CEO Jacques Celliers says it marks a “significant milestone in our 180-year history as we move beyond being a digital innovator to a broader contextual platform disruptor”.
Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business, adds some more jargon: “We have coined the phrase ‘businessism’ inside FNB, driving our focus on solutions that remove those moments of angst that businesses face – from registering a company and opening a bank account, to applying for credit and managing the businesses daily affairs.”
Along with the account opening, FNB Business revels in the past year.
It says it had an average of 3,000 new company registrations initiated every month on digital channels, with more than 1,000 assisted Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) registrations per month.
Over 300,000 customers accessed digital account confirmation letters online, “eradicating the need to go to branch or call in for assistance”.
In addition, it says more than 50% of all credit applications in FNB Business are now digitally originated and approved representing more than ZAR 200 million ($15.7 million) per month of new SME credit facilities.
Last month, FNB launched a mobile bank account for the country’s unbanked and underbanked segments of the population.
The account, called eWallet eXtra, comes with no monthly fees and requires no paperwork to set up. Everything is done on a mobile phone – consumers will have to provide their ID number and name to get eWallet eXtra – and completed in just three minutes.