FNB has seen a 145% growth of data bundle purchases since 2012, reflecting a shift in mobile usage patterns towards data driven smart devices.

“We have the advantage of selling across the entire spectrum of mobile operators which gives us an overview of buying patterns in the prepaid mobile space,” says Ravesh Ramlakan, CEO of FNB Service Provider. “We have found that the rise in data driven smart devices has had a direct impact on data purchases across all of the operators.”

While airtime continues to be FNB Service Provider’s strongest prepaid seller, data bundle purchases have risen sharply over the last three years.

“In 2012 data bundles sales were only 6% of airtime sales. However, this figure is now at 12% which is incredible growth in a short period of time,” says Ramlakan. “While our growth in prepaid airtime sales has also increased, it is at a steadier rate of around 15% a year.”

A strong increase in data bundle purchases is in line with recent research conducted by World Wide Worx for its Mobility 2014 report which states that spend on data across South Africa has doubled since 2010.

Interestingly, 51% of FNB data purchases are made by women, the majority of data – 57% – is purchased using cell phone banking, followed by online banking (26%) and the FNB app (15%).

“Smart devices are behind the upward trend in data bundle purchases, and in line with FNB’s own strategy to encourage digital banking,” says Ramlakan.

FNB alone has sold over 200 000 smart device over the last two years. The customer need was so great that at the end of 2013 FNB allowed customers to purchase multiple devices and now has a vast range of different devices.