FNB has launched a new version of its app. The fifth version of the popular app includes features like FNB Pay, Fingerprint ID, Secure Chat, Smart inContact, 1-touch Report Fraud and the FNB Watch App.

Jacques Celliers, CEO of FNB, says the bank views the app as its gateway into the future of banking. “The app is attuned to solve for crucial customer needs such as more control of their bank account, cost-saving, security and the need to bank anywhere, anytime.”

Although it is being launched a new version, Celliers describes the new app as a whole new platform.

A core part of the new app is FNB Pay, a globally-accepted contactless payment solution which allows customers to pay for goods and services by simply tapping their smartphone on a contactless-enabled point of sale terminal.

Importantly, Celliers points out that FNB Pay will be universally accepted at launch. It is designed for low-value payments, specifically those under R200.00, without the use of a PIN. This is an industry limit and will probably rise to R500.00 in 2017.

By downloading the new version of the app, customers with an NFC-enabled Android smartphone will automatically get access to FNB Pay and can link it to any of their debit or credit cards.

“The timing is perfect for contactless technology in South Africa as local merchants are increasing their contactless infrastructure,” says Raj Makanjee, CEO of FNB Premium. “This is one of the reasons why 100% of the new or replacement cards we are issuing are contactless.”

Security is a major element of the new app, and it now comes standard with fingerprint ID, so users no longer have to enter their user name and password. This is available on both Android and iOS phones.

The addition of Smart inContact gives customers better control over their online banking. “As more customers migrate to smartphones, instead of sending SMSs, we are bring messaging into our ecosystem,” says Makanjee. “And it can become smarter in terms of what the customer uses.”

inContact is not only a channel for customers t communication, but is also a way to approve, reject or report fraud for any online banking transactions. Logins from unknown or suspicious devices also trigger a Smart inContact notification for the customer to verify or reject the device.

“Because it incorporates intelligent security methods, it can take care of omni-channel security in both the virtual and online worlds,” Makanjee says.

The new app also includes a messaging platform, which helps to increase security and brings messaging into the ecosystem. “We see this building out over time as more customers want o use this way of communicating with us,” Makanjee says.

Currently, premier and private banking customers will be able to use Secure Chat to enquire about services or send instructions to the support teams, once they are logged into the app. Among its benefits, says Makanjee, are the fact that it is interactive, inside a secure environment. The bank can also introduce rich media and provide realtime response.

The FNB watch app, which extend key features of the app on to a watch, runs on both iOS and Android.

FNB has always been serious about its digital plays, Celliers says. It launched its online banking back in 1999, adding the first app five years ago.

Looking forward, Celliers says there is a lot of potential as the Internet of Things (IoT) takes off, and machine to machine payments become more common.