Youth Prefer to Bank Smart with Digital Channels, the global statistical data portal estimates that the number of smartphone users in South Africa will reach 22 million in 2019. This is in line with FNB’s data which indicates an increase in banking via digital channels by young people, especially the Banking App.

According to FNB data, customers between the ages of 22-30 prefer using digital platforms such as online banking or the banking app for personal loan applications. In the last quarter of 2018, of the customers who applied for a personal loan through digital channels, 36% of the applications came from the age group 22 – 30 years old.

Philani Potwana, Product Head at FNB Personal Loans, says, “Young people opt for digital modes of banking primarily because of convenience, however an undisputed contributing factor is that digital platforms are part of their always-on connected lifestyles. FNB prioritised enabling loan take-up, a process that might have been perceived as cumbersome in the past, in a few easy steps on our digital banking platforms. The fact that this age group is using this as their primary loan application channel, reinforces their appreciation for the cost and time effectiveness of digital banking.”

Conversely, customers aged between 46-55 still prefer the traditional way of banking and would rather visit a branch to apply for a loan. To bring digital banking and human engagement closer together for all customers, FNB has designated digital zones at branches where customers can bank digitally and get help from a consultant when necessary.

The benefits of banking digitally span further than time and cost effectivity. FNB customers get an all-round view of their finances at their fingertips. The app based nav» Money gives users insights into their credit status and the tool highlights if a customer is at risk of being overly indebted.

“Customers must be empowered to make sensible financial decisions and our nav» Money tool fulfils exactly this objective. By navigating the tool, customers can get a better sense of their income and expenses, their credit status and their ability to pay debt such as a personal loan. It’s important for young people to manage their finances prudently, and a tool such as nav» Money is useful for gauging one’s financial status, because as consumers access credit they must also know how to manage it,” concludes Potwana.

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