Johannesburg – Speculation is rife about First National Bank (FNB) planning to launch its own mobile offerings, reported MyBroadband on Tuesday.
Reports suggested that FNB and Cell C, South Africa’s third largest mobile operator, are negotiating about the bank perhaps even launching its own mobile network.
This would mean mobile devices could be sold with FNB SIM cards and pre-installed apps.
Such a deal would mean that FNB would become Cell C’s second virtual network operator. In 2006 Virgin Mobile was its first virtual network operator.
FNB was the first South African bank to launch mobile banking apps and its mobile offerings include SMS-based services.
According to MyBroadband both FNB and Cell C declined to comment on the rumours.
Karin Fourie, a spokesperson for Cell C, did however, admit to the news service that the operator is currently in confidential negotiations with a number of parties about potential virtual network operator deals.
Virginia Magapatona, spokesperson for FNB, in turn admitted that the bank was negotiating with mobile operators about the launch of future offerings.
Michael Jordaan announced in May this year that after a decade he will step down as CEO of FNB at the end of 2013.
Jordaan will be succeeded by Jacques Celliers, currently the CEO of FNB Business Banking.
At the time FNB's parent company FirstRand [JSE:FSR] said in a statement that Celliers has a unique ability for innovation.
"[He will] bring innovative thinking to both the strategic opportunities and operational challenges of retail and commercial banking".
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