FNB was recently named the “most innovative bank” by Systemic Logic, but despite receiving the accolade some consumers have cried foul over its recent smartphone and tablet offer, citing hidden costs as the driver of the initiative calling it “unethical marketing”.
FNB recently launched an offer allowing its new and existing Gold and Platinum account holders, to purchase smartphones and tablet devices at substantially discounted prices. But a Moneyweb community member alerted us to his concerns around the deal which requires customers to change their pricing plan.
According to Kartik Mistry, product owner at FNB Core Banking Solutions, who spoke to MyBroadband on the matter, “We will change your pricing option to a mobile pricing option.”
Mistry added that the bank wants to encourage the use of pure electronic channels, hence the change of pricing plan. The pricing plan options are limited to two Free ATM withdrawals per month. Any withdrawals thereafter will see clients being charged pay as you use rates for this
“We understand the risk and costs associated with cash for a customer and hence we would like to encourage more point of sale in-store purchases,” continued Mistry.
In response to Moneyweb questions on the subject, the company’s spokesperson Stephen Higgins refuted the unethical marketing claim.
“We state in our media release and on our website that a fee is payable by customers who accept this offer. Effectively customers are paying a highly discounted price for the iPad2 in monthly instalments.
“For a fixed fee per month, you will enjoy unlimited cheque card swipes when you shop, as well as free subscriptions and unlimited electronic transactions on online banking, cellphone banking and the FNB banking App. You also get two free FNB ATM withdrawals per month. This option excludes branch, cheque and Saswitch transactions,” said Higgins
Higgins added that “the strong take-up of by customers shows that there is a clear benefit to the customers (a saving of up to 35% on the device and 0% interest on the purchase).”
For more information on its pricing structure he referred us to the bank’s pricing guide.
Whilst some consumers may not be aware of the change in the pricing structure, they will be made aware of it when they enquire about the deal, as discovered by several Moneyweb staff.
In conclusion it appears FNB has not hidden any costs into this offer, what do you think?