SA’s First National Bank named world’s most innovative bank

South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) has won the Most Innovative Bank of the Year for 2012 at the BAI-Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards held this week in Washington, USA, the bank’s chief Michael Jordaan announced yesterday on Twitter.

The awards are designed to honour banks globally for game-changing products, services, practices and other achievements.

“It is a well-deserved recognition of our ongoing commitment to being an innovative bank. Running since 2004, and through the FNB Innovators Programme 5585 innovations have been implemented to date, which has contributed towards the strategic direction of the bank,” said Jordaan.

The most innovative bank is driven by market insights, existing and emerging consumer preferences and has a culture of innovation, which includes an innovation framework and/or processes that are supported by all levels of leadership.
Jordaan said: “FNB lives and breathes innovation – it’s in our DNA”

Apart from winning the most innovative bank award, FNB was also considered in other categories, with the bank’s eWallet service also being named as a finalist in the Product/Service Innovation Category.

The Most Innovative Bank award also recognises a bank that demonstrates commitment to innovation and the advancement of retail banking. Innovation is exhibited through new-to-the-world products or services and channel innovations leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty, and having significant market and business impact.

Jordaan said: “Our list of innovation goes across borders. Effectively, every employee can be an innovator and can change the way we conduct business. This is an inversion of the historical top-down application of corporate strategies.

“With the concept of innovation we have created far-reaching ethos of creativity and we can see colleagues across Africa and India applying themselves to their jobs with a heightened sense of insight and innovation.”

Some of the FNB innovations implemented that contributed to winning the award include:

-FNB Africa – Bank in a bag;

-FNB Banking Channels – the new dotFNB branches;

-FNB Business Banking – Using New Media and Technology (in client engagement and marketing metrics);

-FNB HR – FNB Innovators (including Minivations);

-FNB Personal Banking – FNB Online SSA and Outward Payment Solutions, Fuel Rewards, FNB App & GeoPay;

-FNB Smart – FNB eWallet, FNB Cellphone Banking, Cardless Cash Withdrawal, FNB Cellphone Banking Pay2Cell, FNB Cellphone Banking Facebook Vouchers.

“It’s incredible to be part of an organisation where its people continuously come up with innovative ideas that are very often implemented,” said Jordaan.

“As a leader I encourage people to think out of the box and come up with an innovative set of ideas or solutions that will ultimately benefit our customers, so that our business evolves with new mindsets and visions of the future.”

The changing nature of audiences has encouraged FNB to become a bank that has definite appeal to its customers.

“Our customers are in the driving seat and we need to ensure that we are switched on and well informed so that we can engage and communicate effectively with them. Innovation is fundamental to the way we think and I believe that it is critical to FNB’s success. Companies that fail to innovate will not only fall behind their competitors, they are unlikely to survive in an intensely competitive economy,” concluded Jordaan.

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