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FNB app zero rated for free data

FNB has announced that customers who use its banking app will no longer need data to access it via their smartphones from 1 July 2017. 

This follows an agreement with all major mobile network operators in South Africa to zero rate access to the FNB Banking App allowing all customers to use it at no cost. The bank already offers free access to its app to all FNB Connect customers, and offers free WiFi in most FNB branches for customers to download the app.

Giuseppe Virgillito, FNB Digital spokesperson, says “Since launching the app six years ago, not only has it become the most downloaded, but also the popular banking app amongst consumers as recently rated in the SAcsi and Columinate SITEisfaction Index’s 2017.”

“We believe that access to data or airtime should not be a barrier to safe and convenient banking for South Africans. The zero rating of the app is in line with our broader strategy to migrate customers to digital and electronic channels where a number of transactions and services are already offered free of charge,” adds Virgillito.

The FNB Banking App not only offers customers convenience, but increased value through its industry leading features that caters for the basic and advanced banking transactions in the hands of customers.

“We attribute the success of the banking app to continuous innovation and meeting more than the basic banking needs of our customers,” adds Virgillito.

Furthermore, with fraud being a global concern for customers that use digital platforms, the latest version of the FNB Banking App boasts industry-leading security features.

The industry first inContact solution has evolved to introduce Smart InContact, which allows customers to receive secure Online Banking transaction approvals on the FNB App which does not rely on SMS or email technology which could be intercepted by fraudsters. Smart inContact on the FNB App also notifies customers of all transactions for free, from as low as one cent, with full control to report fraud with 1-touch of the Report Fraud button to the 24/7 FNB Fraud line. The app also works with Online Banking to verify devices that customers use to transact on their respective profiles. Only verified devices with the app installed receive Smart inContact transaction approvals.

Logins to Online Banking also trigger a Smart inContact notification for customers to be notified whenever their Online Banking is accessed. App users can also now authenticate themselves through Fingerprint ID available to both Android and iPhone owners, which uses a fingerprint sensor to verify the user before giving access to the account profile.

The FNB Banking App is currently ranked the best in South Africa by customers in both the South African Consumer Satisfaction Index 2017, and in the Columinate SITEisfaction Index 2017. The app has also been ranked best in South Africa by international benchmark studies, such as MyPrivateBanking Research and Finalta where international banking experts rank the FNB Banking App as standing shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world.

“Apart from gaining multiple international awards over the years, we still strive to please our customers, and the results are evident in both the SAcsi and SITEisfactions surveys, where when unpacking the detail, consumers rate the FNB Banking App as the best banking app in the country,” says Virgillito.

The FNB Banking App features industry-leading solutions such as FNB Pay, Fingerprint ID, Secure Chat, Smart inContact, 1-touch Report Fraud, nav>> Car and nav>> Home, eBucks Partner locator and FNB TV, amongst others.

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Veeam passes $1bn, prepares for cloud’s ‘Act II’

Leader in cloud-data management reveals how it will harness the next growth phase of the data revolution, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

Veeam Software, the quiet leader in backup solutions for cloud data management,has announced that it has passed $1-billion in revenues, and is preparing for the next phase of sustained growth in the sector.

Now, it is unveiling what it calls Act II, following five years of rapid growth through modernisation of the data centre. At the VeeamON 2019conferencein Miami this week, company co-founder Ratmir Timashev declared that the opportunities in this new era, focused on managing data for the hybrid cloud, would drive the next phase of growth.

“Veeam created the VMware backup market and has dominated it as the leader for the last decade,” said Timashev, who is also executive vice president for sales and marketing at the organisation. “This was Veeam’s Act I and I am delighted that we have surpassed the $1 billion mark; in 2013 I predicted we’d achieve this in less than six years. 

“However, the market is now changing. Backup is still critical, but customers are now building hybrid clouds with AWS, Azure, IBM and Google, and they need more than just backup. To succeed in this changing environment, Veeam has had to adapt. Veeam, with its 60,000-plus channel and service provider partners and the broadest ecosystem of technology partners, including Cisco, HPE, NetApp, Nutanix and Pure Storage, is best positioned to dominate the new cloud data management in our Act II.”

In South Africa, Veeam expects similar growth. Speaking at the Cisco Connect conference in Sun City this week, country manager Kate Mollett told Gadget’s BRYAN TURNER that the company was doing exceptionally well in this market.

“In financial year 2018, we saw double-digit growth, which was really very encouraging if you consider the state of the economy, and not so much customer sentiment, but customers have been more cautious with how they spend their money. We’ve seen a fluctuation in the currency, so we see customers pausing with big decisions and hoping for a recovery in the Rand-Dollar. But despite all of the negatives, we have double digit growth which is really good. We continue to grow our team and hire.

“From a Veeam perspective, last year we were responsible for Veeam Africa South, which consisted of South Africa, SADC countries, and the Indian Ocean Islands. We’ve now been given the responsibility for the whole of Africa. This is really fantastic because we are now able to drive a single strategy for Africa from South Africa.”

Veeam has been the leading provider of backup, recovery and replication solutions for more than a decade, and is growing rapidly at a time when other players in the backup market are struggling to innovate on demand.

“Backup is not sexy and they made a pretty successful company out of something that others seem to be screwing up,” said Roy Illsley, Distinguished Analyst at Ovum, speaking in Miami after the VeeamOn conference. “Others have not invested much in new products and they don’t solve key challenges that most organisations want solved. Theyre resting on their laurels and are stuck in the physical world of backup instead of embracing the cloud.”

Illsley readily buys into the Veeam tagline. “It just works”. 

“They are very good at marketing but are also a good engineering comany that does produce the goods. Their big strength, that it just works, is a reliable feature they have built into their product portfolio.”

Veeam said in statement from the event that, while it had initially focused on server virtualisation for VMware environments, in recent years it had expanded this core offering. It was now delivering integration with multiple hypervisors, physical servers and endpoints, along with public and software-as-a-service workloads, while partnering with leading cloud, storage, server, hyperconverged (HCI) and application vendors.

This week, it  announced a new “with Veeam”program, which brings in enterprise storage and hyperconverged (HCI) vendors to provide customers with comprehensive secondary storage solutions that combine Veeam software with industry-leading infrastructure systems. Companies like ExaGrid and Nutanix have already announced partnerships.

Timashev said: “From day one, we have focused on partnerships to deliver customer value. Working with our storage and cloud partners, we are delivering choice, flexibility and value to customers of all sizes.”

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‘Energy scavenging’ funded

As the drive towards a 5G future gathers momentum, the University of Surrey’s research into technology that could power countless internet enabled devices – including those needed for autonomous cars – has won over £1M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industry partners.

Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) has been working on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG), an energy harvesting technology capable of ‘scavenging’ energy from movements such as human motion, machine vibration, wind and vehicle movements to power small electronic components. 

TENG energy harvesting is based on a combination of electrostatic charging and electrostatic induction, providing high output, peak efficiency and low-cost solutions for small scale electronic devices. It’s thought such devices will be vital for the smart sensors needed to enable driverless cars to work safely, wearable electronics, health sensors in ‘smart hospitals’ and robotics in ‘smart factories.’ 

The ATI will be partnered on this development project with the Georgia Institute of Technology, QinetiQ, MAS Holdings, National Physical Laboratory, Soochow University and Jaguar Land Rover. 

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the ATI and the principal investigator of the TENG project, said: “TENG technology is ideal to power the next generation of electronic devices due to its small footprint and capacity to integrate into systems we use every day. Here at the ATI, we are constantly looking to develop such advanced technologies leading towards our quest to realise worldwide “free energy”.

“TENGs are an ideal candidate to power the autonomous electronic systems for Internet of Things applications and wearable electronic devices. We believe this research grant will allow us to further the design of optimized energy harvesters.”

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