Location Based Services on Smartphones Gain Traction in Banking Sector

Location based services (LBS) has allowed FNB to offer Banking App users the ability to locate ATMs and branches and make GeoPayments, cashless, person-to-person payments, with just 3 taps and a pin. This service, launched by FNB on the Banking App in May 2012, was the first ever near-field, person to person payment technology in South Africa.

The use of Apps by South African adult phone users has increased, by almost 20%, from 24% to 43% in just over a year, according to the 2014 Mobility Report and internationally, location based services are increasingly popular.

“LBS is central to the simplification that Apps offer users. Before Apps and LBS existed, people would have had to scroll through endless online store directories in order to locate the closest bank branch whilst dealing with the frustration of working on a platform that would often not be scaled according to the device due to the browser used,” says Sahil Mungar from FNB Mobile and Connect.

“It is this combination of native apps and the functionality of LBS that have allowed the bank to bring customers innovative payment solutions in addition to quick location of branches and ATMs,” continues Mungar.

A study by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) reported that 46% of mobile users make use of LBS for navigation purposes and 26% use it to locate restaurants and other stores. This has been made possible with apps such as the FNB Banking App and is proof that the functionality of LBS services is quickly moving beyond the mere ability to check in on a social media site.

The GeoPayments feature, used predominantly by App users between the ages of 26 – 35 years, locates other active FNB Banking App users within a close proximity and gives them the option to make immediate, cashless payments to each other without having to enter any banking details other than the App login pin of the person who is sending the money. It is the fastest and easiest person to person payment method that exists.

“These services are fundamentally intuitive and the month-on-month increase in volumes since the launch of GeoPayments as well as other location based services shows that there is strong appetite amongst customers for ways in which to not only make quick, hassle-free payments but also to use the technology to simplify their banking and everyday needs,” concludes Mungar.