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FNB launches mobile service

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FNB has announced that it has become the first bank to offer its own SIM cards to its customers from 15 June 2015.

Currently FNB offers ADSL and 3G data rewards through its FNB Connect offering, which will now be expanded to include mobile voice and data products. The bank is already established in the telecommunications space with over 2 million customers topping up with airtime and bundles monthly and over 285 000 discounted smart devices sold since 2011.

“Mobility and banking innovation are now synonymous in the minds of FNB customers, we are excited to launch a South African first for banking via FNB Connect as the next step in our digital evolution,” says Jacques Celliers, CEO of FNB.

SIM cards will be sold separately from devices and customers will be able to choose from a range of mobile voice and data products.

“The FNB Connect mobile offering will add value to our customers’ lives as it is seamlessly integrated into all our banking systems,” adds Celliers.

The integration of this offering with digital platforms such as FNB’s Online Banking will afford customers the benefit of a single login to simultaneously manage their financial and mobile accounts. This provides peace of mind knowing that the same advanced security that protects customers’ financial accounts will also protect their mobile accounts.

Customers will also have the option to easily port their existing cellphone number through FNB’s electronic banking channels.

“The core offering will be the Flexi Package, which is unique as customers can manage their account by creating their own mobile package and have the ability to change it every month,” says Ravesh Ramlakan, CEO of FNB Connect.

In addition, FNB will also be the first to market with a prepaid Auto Top-Up recharge feature where customers will be topped up automatically when their airtime balance drops below R5.

Transparency and the ability for customers to control their spend are made possible by electronic features such as real time call transaction history, ability to set bill limits and setting notifications.

In line with the bank’s strategy to encourage customers to use digital banking rather than branches; ordering and activation of SIMs occurs on digital platforms.  Other self-service options include SIM Swap, Block your SIM and activation of international roaming calls through Online Banking.

Customers will also have the benefit of qualifying to earn up to 40% back in eBucks on any FNB Connect mobile offering from 1 July this year.

“The banking landscape has evolved tremendously and with the help of technology we are able to better enrich the customer experience.  We believe that this valuable service will assist customers with the opportunity to do their banking and mobile services from one platform. This is yet another innovation aimed at offering our customers the benefit of integrated and seamless mobile services which interoperates across existing platforms,” concludes Ramlakan.

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CES: And thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for making and enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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