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More Wi-Fi at FNB branches

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In an effort to encourage customers to visit their branches and at the same time use digital banking, FNB is extending its free Wi-Fi to banks across South Africa.

Even as FNB encourages customers to make more use of its app and online banking service, it is providing more incentives to visit branches. Its active free Wi-Fi connections reached 383 branches by the end of February 2017, as the bank continues to offer free internet connectivity to customers in its branches.

“By January 2017 over 200 000 customers connected to the internet via free FNB Wi-Fi in branches,” says Lee-Anne van Zyl, CEO of FNB Points of Presence. “The roll out of free Wi-Fi is another value-add which shows our commitment to helping all FNB customers bank digitally. The fundamental aim of this initiative is to offer cheaper banking alternatives for customers through the availability free high speed Wi-Fi. Currently, about 187 FNB branches are connected via internet fibre, which enables connectivity at faster speeds.”

“The process of providing free Wi-Fi is ongoing; however, we aim to steadily increase connectivity across most of branch outlets, especially high capacity branches.”

Over the years FNB has moved to digitise its branches and avail the option of transacting via digital channels or over the counter. This happened in the form of introducing Digital Zones, which enable customers to transact via their online profiles within the branch.

FNB also has dedicated eBankers across 195 select branches that are deployed to assist customers at Digital Zones. The role of eBankers is to assist customers who transact digitally by giving support where necessary.

“We have seen a marked increase in the use of Digital Zones at branches as customers have the option to use online banking, the FNB Banking App or cell phone banking. There’s clearly an appetite for digital banking, but as more customers adopt digital channels we will have to balance this with customers’ education,” adds van Zyl.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for 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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