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AppDate: Loans on tap

SEAN BACHER’s latest app roundup includes FNB’s loan service through its app, myFanPark, Bolt for Business, BookBeak and ZAR X Mobi



FNB’s new in-app loan service

As part of its commitment to help grow SMEs through lending, FNB now allows businesses to take up credit and investments via the FNB app.

This service allows businesses with an annual turnover between R0 and R60-million to apply for an an overdraft, business loan and revolving loan, as well as a 48 hour cash accelerator notice investment product, and get approval in a few minutes, on the FNB App.  

Previously, business customers could only apply for credit via branches or online banking. But, given that over 50% of all FNB business credit is currently being digitally originated and approved, SMEs will now be able to take up credit through a channel of their choice.

They do so by following a few steps on the FNB app: logging in and selecting Business Credit Solutions/Investments, selecting the preferred option, viewing the quote and accepting the agreement. Businesses without an FNB account will be offered the products during the application process.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free service 

Stockists: Visit the FNB website here for downloading instructions.


myFanPark is transforming the way fans  connect with South African celebrities through a platform that allows them to request and purchase personalised, video-recorded shout-out messages from celebrities.

Since inception a few months ago, myFanPark has signed up 60 celebrities, with new ones being added each day. The app lets one request a personalised video message for any occasion, from words of encouragement, to big announcements or special celebrations.

Some examples of what the app offers include: 

A message from Springbok and Blue Bulls centre Jesse Kriel or Faf de Klerk to motivate your son on his 1st rugby match, with a good luck message. 

A message from Lee Thompson, the first bachelor on the reality show The Bachelor SA, to congratulate your best friend on getting engaged.

If you need to give someone a laugh, how about asking comedians Schalk Bezuidenhout or Casper de Vries? 

Each celebrity charges their own rate. The cool thing is no video will ever be the same, as each video will be personalised by the celebrity and recorded especially for the fan. myFanPark will also be donating a portion of proceeds from each video to The Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust or Laureus Sport for Good.

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Expect to pay: Prices range depending on the celebrity and the message you want him or her to send out.

Stockists: Find it at

Bolt for Business

Bolt has launched Bolt for Business, allowing companies of all sizes to manage and pay for corporate trips via a single, easy-to-use portal.

This addition to the Bolt range of services broadens the impact of on-demand transport for businesses, as companies can now democratise access to jobs by removing the “own transport required” condition for employment, and have access to a simple service offering for employees and clients.

They can do this by allocating a monthly budget through the Bolt platform to individual employees.

Bolt for Business gives companies the ability to offer employee groups, clients and recruits the option to utilise the Bolt service at the company’s expense, and gives account managers the ability to set and customise spending allowances and the number of trips employees can take.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Interested companies can sign up for the service here.


Africans have been telling stories for centuries, passing nuggets of cultural knowledge and heritage from one generation to the next through fables, folktales, and epic narrations. Recently launched storytelling app, BookBeak, is now making it possible for those new and old African stories to be shared with the world.

The idea stems from the fact that many of these stories need to be shared with the rest of the world but, before now, there was no way to do so. However, with Africa being one of the fastest growing smartphone markets, it makes sense to create a platform that will allow Africans to share their stories on a device that nearly all own.

One of BookBeak’s most meaningful and impactful features is its revenue sharing model to benefit its contributing writers. Revenue generated from BookBeak’s global subscription base will be shared on a 50/50 basis with contributing writers, and then further tiered remuneration based on the number of downloads received by their respective stories. This will allow people to earn money from their unique storytelling talents.

Stories are updated weekly and are available for adults and children.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Three premium reads for free, and then a monthly subscription of R59

Stockists: Visit BookBeak here.

ZAR X Mobi

ZAR X Mobi app is a newly launched application that allows beginners to start dabbling in the stock market.

The app’s interface is intuitive and easy to navigate and removes the complexity associated with equity investing. Once registered with ZAR X, users can track the value of their portfolio, as well as access crucial information like portfolio holdings, cash on hand and open orders in real-time. The app also offers push notifications for placed trade instructions, matched orders in the market, new listings, cash movements and more.

The idea of the web-based app is that it breaks down the barriers that have for so long excluded the majority of South Africans from investing in equities.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Free to download, but percentages but brokerage fees are charged.

Stockists: Visit ZAR X here for downloading instructions.