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FirstRand Namibia - Safest port in any economic storm


7 September 2018: FirstRand Namibia produced a sound set of results for the year ended 30 June 2018. Notable particularly because financial services entities, and especially banks' earnings, are inextricably linked to the health of an economy and currently Namibia's economy is facing challenging conditions.

 

FNB & SMEs support make business dreams come true


5 September 2018: From humble beginnings as a vehicle washing business, Erastus Amenya, based in Rosh Pinah, has grown his firm into a significant employer in that southern mining town and today has a staff complement of 24 employees.

 

Early signs of recovery in housing market


5 September 2018: Josephat, having looked at the last three months, declares that house price contractions have been decelerating; although, at 0.8%, it is too soon to declare that the market is out of the woods, as the volumes continue to shift towards the lower price segments.

 

Financial planning brings the future into your present


30 August 2018: "No one knows what the future holds, and it is thus important that you have enough insurance to cover your mortgage, child's education and your essential expenses," says Ian van der Walt, Channel Head: Advisory at FNB Namibia.

 

Why Namibians need to pay attention to the global decline in cheques


29 August 2018: Globally, the use of cheques is consistently declining as financial institutions and most of their customers increasingly adopt technologically advanced payment alternatives that are far more convenient and cheaper.

 

Save in a foreign currency with an FNB Global Account


28 August 2018: Have you dreamt of putting aside a little extra in a foreign currency for that once-in-a-lifetime holiday abroad? "Now is your chance", says Neville Ntema.

 

Maintaining a disciplined savings mind set


23 August 2018: According to a survey done by the Namibia Statistics Agency - barely one in ten people have savings to fall back on when they run out of money.

 

Tips for managing your inheritance


6 August 2018: "An inheritance can be a great financial bonus, but if it is not managed correctly there can be numerous challenges and getting rich quick may turn out to be a curse, rather than a blessing," says Lucas Kotzé, Head: FNB Fiduciary.

 

Extra cash back greatly appreciated


25 July 2018: Since the launch of the FNB Rewards programme in November 2017 customers and employees of the bank have earned over N$8 million in cash back paid into a linked Savings Pocket for customers to use whenever, and on whatever they please.

 

You use the information contained on this page (the "Information") at your own risk. First National Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited ("the Bank"), provides no warranties or guarantees, whether express, implied or otherwise, in respect of the Information, its accuracy and/or reliability. Without limitation, the Bank does not warrant that the Information will ensure your compliance with accounting, auditory, financial, legal, business and/or tax requirements or will improve your business' performance. The Information does not constitute advice and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining professional or other advice where necessary. Neither the Bank nor its holding company, subsidiaries or other group companies will be liable to you for any claims, demands, expenses, costs, losses or damages, of whatsoever nature, suffered or incurred by you in respect of your use of the Information.

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Oshikuku agency offcially opened


25 April 2017: On 20 April 2017 FNB CEO, Sarel van Zyl and His Worship the mayor of Oshikuku, Mbockoma Mungandjera offcially opened the FNB Oshikuku agency. In his address, Sarel van Zyl said that Oshikuku, and the greater Omusati region had been the radar of First National Bank for many years since the bank had set up its first representation there in the form of its first ATM.

"Our ATM was installed at Oshikuku years ago to provide essential banking services without any rudimentary banking activities here. But like all endeavours, growth is a constant factor, so in line with the current activities such as the number of commercial houses now in this area, it became an important goal for us to provide services closer to our customers here, hence our decision today to open this agency."

FNB Namibia is continuously looking at ensuring a pleasant banking experience for all customers, aiming to provide affordable and accessible banking channels to both the business and consumer segments throughout Namibia.
"Our operations at FNB are driven by our brand mantra of 'How can we help you?' This is an open invitation to all our stakeholders, including our clients, partners and of course our more than many employees - to talk to us and share ideas on how we can improve," Sarel said.

He added that the FNB corporate brand could be seen all over the country either through branches or agencies or strategic partnerships. "As Namibia's oldest financial services provider, we will continue to help by supporting our Government to steer the Namibian economic and financial agenda towards Vision 2030. Our involvement can be witnessed by how much we contribute to state coffers through direct and indirect taxes and to the upliftment and development of communities through the FNB Foundation Trust."

For more information, please contact
Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Justus Hausiku joins FNB Board


24 April 2017: FNB Namibia welcomes Justus Hausiku as non-executive director to the Board of Directors of First National Bank of Namibia Limited and FNB Namibia Holdings Limited. Hausiku is currently the Executive Chairman and co-founder of the Arch Group of Companies.

He has worked for numerous Namibian companies such as Hollard Life Insurance Namibia, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, PriceWaterhouseCoopers to name a few, and has gained invaluable experience over the past 15 years.

He holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree from UNAM and a post-graduate diploma in accounting and CTA (honours degree) from Rhodes University in South Africa.

"I look forward to working with the leading banking Group in Namibia. Together we will ensure great service, value for money and work towards even greater inclusivity in banking for all Namibians", said Hausiku.

For more information, please contact
Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

FNB's Namene looks at inflation expectations and Namibia


19 May 2017: Namene Kalili, Research Manager, Strategic Marketing and Communications has commented on a variety of issues affecting Namibia, inflation and pricing.

Domestic inflation came in at 6.7% for April, continuing the downward trajectory from the 8.2% inflation shocker in January. Food disinflation drove overall inflation lower, printing 1.6% lower through April, from 13.2% in January. "Food prices are not going down, but instead continue to go up. However, the pace at which food prices are increasing has slowed remarkably.

A mere five months ago, food prices were rising at 13.5% per annum, but now they have come down to 5.3%. Most of this correction is attributed to increased food production in the Southern Africa, which has narrowed the excess food demand and moderated food inflation to a certain extent." Namene said that where cereal and bread prices increased by 15.4% in January, the rate of increase has come down to 0.9% and may possibly start falling from next month onwards.

Should this transpire, significant consumers of cereal and bread products will see their cost of living reduce for the first time in six years. Other cost pressures are in housing, which accounts for 39% of the overall inflation. The combination of low housing delivery and rising utility costs, has kept housing inflation upwardly sticky.

This is a situation that will persist if we do not address the structural housing supply problems, that have plagued the economy for the past decade. Whereas Windhoek has an estimated housing demand for 300 houses per month, a measly two houses were completed in Windhoek last month, one in Brakwater and another in Kleine Kuppe.

"These developments have necessitated a downward revision for our inflation expectations, we expect strong downwards trend until June, at which point, domestic cereal pricing mechanisms and new electricity tariff adjustments to lift food and housing inflation. This should stabilize inflation for the rest of the year, within the 3 to 6 percent band this year, and thus supporting our view for flat interest rates for the remainder of the year, which remains unchanged."

Regarding the petrol price hike in SA Namene advised that this was not necessarily influencing Namibia negatively. "SA has its own fuel fundamentals that drive their fuel prices. Ordinarily SA pump prices should have decreased, but the increase in road fund levies during the month resulted in increased pump prices. Back at home, fuel prices have remained unchanged, despite the under-recoveries on unleaded fuel and 500ppm diesel. Therefore, fuel prices may be adjusted in June if crude oil continues to fluctuate between U$53 and U$57 per barrel."

In conclusion Namene stated that they expected a long drawn out recovery in the absence of fiscal and monetary buffers. "We believe the weak savings culture has made our economy too dependent on consumption expenditure for growth, while relying on external funding to finance capital investments. Therefore, increased savings and direct integration of the suppliers of capital into the capital markets will yield greater broad based equity participation, and resuscitate and sustain high growth going forward.

For more information, please contact:
Communications Manager at FNB Holdings
Elzita Beukes
(+264 61) 299 2125
elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Mom knows best - also about finances


16 May 2017: Mothers deserve a lot of credit for the variety of life lessons they teach children; including guidance on finances. "In fact, more than eight in ten Americans say they learned something about money from their mothers," says Elzita Beukes, Manager: Corporate Communications at FNB Namibia. "In light of the recent Mother's Day and Women's Month, we thought it great to share some of the financial wisdom and savings tips we learned from our mothers that are still applicable today."

'We believe that a woman who has a bank account can take care of herself and her family, and while there are always exceptions to the rule, women have proved to manage debt and be better re-payers, and tend to put away more for a rainy day.'

Elzita adds, "The most fundamental rule to remember is to live within your means and to differentiate between a want and a need. Do you really need another pair of shoes or are the four pairs in the cupboard sufficient for now? This is something I learned from my mother and she also taught me to shop wisely and consider sales. These tips will stretch the budget to last a little longer." Mothers are interested in the kids' money learning process and the day-to-day aspects of financial management.

"Life lessons like "don't be late" and "practice, practice, practice" and "don't be afraid to ask for help" and many others have a direct application to your finances. After all, it's wise indeed to never make a late payment, to ensure that enough money is in the account for all the debit orders that go off and to seek advice on complicated money matters."

FNB Namibia offers a number of great products which talk to women and their families such as the Flexi Fixed Deposit accounts (which allow the customers to deposit additional funds into the account during the investment term, which can be either 3 or 12 months as well as 2 withdrawals to the value of 15% of the available balance), Bank Your Change™, point of sale for transactions when doing grocery shopping, Cellphone Banking (airtime purchases for the kids) and cardless ATM withdrawals if you forgot your card at home when running between work, school and home. Then there are the future accounts for school going kids, student loans for students and credit cards, which probably all women like!

Says Elzita: "One of the greatest products we offer at FNB that may appeal to the more prudent woman, is Bank Your Change™ as it is a feature on all Transactional Accounts which uses a linked Savings Pocket to automatically transfer money from your transactional account to your savings account, when you pay with your debit card." This feature is an innovative way for customers to automatically save their "left over" cents/change when they swipe their debit card. It helps the customer to save their money automatically - you are saving while you shop and you can determine how much must be set aside every time you swipe your debit card. Ladies, let us all become financially savvy and independent during Women's Month."

For more information, please contact:
Communications Manager at FNB Holdings
Elzita Beukes
(+264 61) 299 2944
vmuranda@fnbnamibia.com.na

Make provision for debit orders to avoid extra costs


15 May 2017: In an effort to consistently educate customers, FNB Namibia would like to share some advice with customers about honouring debit orders. "It seems as if some customers are unaware of the financial implications of not having enough money in their accounts for monthly debit orders," says Elzita Beukes, FNB Communications Manager.

If a customer does not have enough money in his or her account when the debit order is due, the debit order will not be paid and banks have to charge a penalty fee.

Customers should also be aware that bounced debit orders are recorded against your credit profile information. If it occurs often, it can affect your chances of getting credit in the future. It is important that we exercise prudence during these difficult financial times".

Elzita highlights the benefits of using a debit order, such as the convenience it offers without the customer having to manually make each monthly payment. "Paying by debit order is a simple and reliable way of making sure you keep up to date with your financial commitments. You'll never miss a payment and will be able to manage your budget better.

A debit order is a way for a third party, that you have given permission, to collect money from your bank account. It's typically used to collect monthly subscriptions, insurance premiums or loan repayments." In conclusion Elzita advises customers to pay all their accounts and necessities before spending on wants. "Arrange for your debit orders to go off on or soon after payday to ensure you have enough money available to pay them."

For more information, please contact:
Communications Manager at FNB Holdings
Elzita Beukes
(+264 61) 299 2125
elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

FNB supports Oshakati Totem Expo


23 May 2017: FNB Namibia has pledged an amount of N$35 000 towards the upcoming Oshakati Totem Expo.

Toivo Kalla Area Sales and Service Manager of FNB Namibia explained that this expo speaks to culture diversification and was a representation of family clans and the perseverance thereof. "Culture is the foundation of one's identity and it is very important that it is well preserved and documented for the current and future generation to know where they come from and where they're going to.

The Expo has fused with modern culture and allows for exhibitions from corporate and commercial companies, SMEs and various artists We are proud to support this event as a celebration of culture and as hub for business to flourish."

"FNB Namibia will be present at the expo with a mobile ATM to cater for clients who would need some cash, and we will advocate for the usage of digital banking platforms during the expo. Our lifestyle consultant will also be on hand to offer services such as account openings, registrations on Cellphone banking, Online banking, the Banking App, applications for overdrafts, credit cards and personal loans.

We look forward to welcoming the Northern community to our stand and look forward to asking them, 'How can we help you', "Kalla concluded.

For more information, please contact:
Communications Manager at FNB Holdings
Elzita Beukes
(+264 61) 299 2125
elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

FirstRand Namibia - Safest port in any economic storm


7 September 2018: FirstRand Namibia (previously FNB Namibia Holdings) produced a sound set of results for the year ended 30 June 2018. Notable particularly because financial services entities, and especially banks' earnings, are inextricably linked to the health of an economy and currently Namibia's economy is facing challenging conditions.

The group's results and commentary were released on a normalised basis as the group believes this most accurately reflects its economic performance. The full results include the acquired Pointbreak companies and EBank for a full twelve months whereas prior year only had this in for three months (the acquisition was only concluded on 30 March 2017, making line items in the profit and loss statement impacted by the acquisition, not comparable at face value. Normalised operations therefore exclude the Pointbreak and EBank earnings impact for the current and comparative year.

"Despite a very challenging economic period, the group produced a set of satisfactory results for the year under review. The group maintained a stable funding and liquidity base and sustained a solid capital position" says Oscar Capelao, Chief Financial Officer of FirstRand Namibia.

Headline earnings at N$ 1 039 million were slightly lower than last year. Normalised earnings - headline earnings adjustments, non-operational items and impact of the acquired subsidiaries which did not form part of the group for the full comparative period provide a more accurate view of performance.

Normalised profit before tax for the year decreased by 3.8% to N$ 1 580.2 million. Return on average equity was 22.1% (2017: 25.6%), and return on average assets was 2.7% (2017: 3.0%) while cost to income ratio increased slightly to 50.3% (2017: 48.4%).

"We are satisfied that the return to all of our investments of time, effort and expense has delivered appropriately to our stakeholders, and we are ready to continue upping our game year on year. Systems enhancements, treating customers fairly through strengthened governance structures, and managing legacy systems while investing in digital innovations, has certainly affected profit, but we believe the investments we have made to be sound, and good, for customers. We are committed to delivering to our 'bank of the future' goal while remaining today's preferred bank too" says Sarel van Zyl, CEO of FirstRand Namibia.

"Resilient, high quality earnings on the back of reasonable top line growth, translated into a strong return profile, well-positioned for the continued emergence of the credit cycle", adds Capelao.

These earnings deliver sound returns to the group's local shareholders (nearly 40%), and nearly 80% of the group's profit before tax distribution stays in Namibia via local shareholders' returns, 35% re-investment into Namibia, and taxation.

"In these difficult times, helping and supporting our customers through the cycle is a priority. Providing solutions to assist them transactionally, ensuring the protection of their assets, helping them invest and manage what they have for growth, and insuring them against losses, is what our full service end to end financial services group offers. How can we help you remains our call to action".

"I would like to thank our employees for their contribution, hard work, and dedication to ensure that customers experience "a great Namibian financial services business, creating a better world". I am confident that together we will continue to provide value for our customers, shareholders and stakeholders", concludes van Zyl.

FNB and SMEs support make business dreams come true


5 September 2018: Erastus Amenya, based in Rosh Pinah, is one of numerous entrepreneurs who have routinely received business growth support from SMEs Compete and the FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust. From humble beginnings as a vehicle washing business, Amenya has grown his firm, Ondje Trading Enterprises cc, into a significant employer in that southern mining town and today has a staff complement of 24 employees.

Over the past decade, Amenya has diversified his operations. Not only does he clean vehicles and mining equipment, including conveyor belts on-site at Skorpion Zinc Mine, but also operates a laundry, provides transport service, manages waste water, runs a car wash facility in the town's centre, a fish shop in the high-density suburb of Tutungeni, develops and manages property and even has a farming operation in the northern town of Omuthiya.

Erastus says: "None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of my banker. FNB Namibia has stood by me through thick and thin, and the routine mentorship and guidance I regularly receive from SMEs Compete has also helped." Asked about his management style, Amenya says he emulates his role model, Namibian business icon, Aupa Frans Indongo. "When it comes to growth and diversification, I work alongside my staff, keep my eye on the ball at all times, and maintain a solid working relationship with my bank and suppliers," he adds: "When I don't know, I ask, and I listen to the advice of SMEs Compete, as they just like FNB, are always there for me."

FNB Namibia established an SME Business Unit in 2005 to specifically service the needs of budding and novice entrepreneurs and added tailored products and services over the years to meet the needs of Namibia's small and medium enterprise sector. The bank, through its FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust, further decided to support SME sector development programmes of many organisations, tertiary educational institutions, governmental departments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that nurture entrepreneurship and foster an enterprise culture among young Namibians.

One of the organisations the FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust works with is SMEs Compete. Founded by Claudine Mouton, Collin Gaochab Kakuva and Danny Meyer under a partnership arrangement, FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust and the German Development Service DED now part of GIZ, SMEs Compete provides an array of business growth support services to SMEs across Namibia. This includes mentorship, skills development, book-keeping and administration system development and implementation, status regularisation and compliance assistance, as well as marketing support among others.

"Although other corporate firms and development institutions fund business and job creation programmes of SMEs Compete, the FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust remains a key supporter," says SMEs Compete's Claudine Mouton. "What we like about working with FNB is the constant development and introduction of services that make it easier for SMEs to access funding to start or grow business," adds Mouton, referring to the bank's SME Special Fund.

With FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust's backing, SMEs Compete supports hundreds of other entrepreneurs like Erastus Amenya across the country. The number of SMEs helped with the FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust over the past decade tops the 2 000 mark.

For more information, please contact Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, 081 143 6599 or elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Early signs of recovery in housing market


5 September 2018: FNB Namibia has released the housing index based on figures obtained from June 2018. According to FNB Analyst Josephat Nambashu, although house prices increased by 0.8% y/y in June, property prices remain under pressure, after a series of annual falls over the last nine months, to bring the average house price to just over N$1.2 million. "The continued drop in the economy and the increased costs of living on the back of fuel increases remains a stark reminder that consumer spending remains under pressure, which is consequently depressing domestic property prices."

Josephat, having looked at the last three months, declares that house price contractions have been decelerating; although, at 0.8%, it is too soon to declare that the market is out of the woods, as the volumes continue to shift towards the lower price segments. "The single and biggest contributor was the lower price segment, which registered a healthier 7.1% y/y price growth. On the back of renewed demand in the lower price segment, volumes in this particular segment have increased by 24.5% over the past year. In contrast, large to luxury segments remained the weakest, as volumes continue to dry up. In the last five months, only three transactions registered in the luxury segment."

It is furthermore stated in the June FNB Housing index, that overall volumes ticked up by 17.4% on an annual basis, driven primarily by the lower price segment, and to a lesser extent, the middle price segment. These findings are further confirmed by an increase in the average time on the market, now up to 25 weeks, a deterioration in our affordability index (meaning housing have become increasingly unaffordable) and properties selling further below asking price (9.3% below asking price).

When looking at the central property prices, in June, house prices rose by 0.3% y/y, as property prices in the upper price segments contracted by 6.6%. However, in the lower and more affordable segments, prices increased by 8.3% over the same period, at a time when this segment has seen 5.6% increase in volumes. In the capital, property price growth decelerated further to 2.0%. Properties in this market are reported spending 27 weeks on the market whilst the investment market (buy-to-let) has also slowed. The regional volume index picked up by 8.8%, with nearly all transactions falling into the low to middle price segments. The average house price in the region now stands at N$1 496,000.

House price growth at the coast remained negative, at -2.6% for the whole coastal region. In Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, house prices fell by 12.8% and 18.7% respectively while Henties Bay bucked the trend with 6.1% house price growth. Price pressures emanated from increased housing supply, after transaction volumes surged by 67.0% annually. Low income properties emanating from the mass housing programme and the aggressive land delivery, continued to push coastal property prices down, at a time when property prices are seasonally strong.

So far in 2018 house prices in the northern market have kept their upward trend, albeit at a slower pace, reflective of the prevailing softness in the market. In June, house prices increased by 5.3% y/y. While property prices were still on the increase in Ongwediva (+12.8%), Grootfontein (+10.5%), Otjiwarongo (+8.7%) and Outapi (+7.2%), house prices fell in Eenhana (-35.5%) and Tsumeb (-26.5%), while stagnating in Oshakati (-0.2%) and Ondangwa (-0.1%). Volumes shot up by 6.3% over the year, more concentrated in Eenhana, Oshakati and Ondangwa, where property prices were either under pressure or stagnant.

Prices in southern Namibia were up 2.2% y/y while volumes shot up by as much as 60.0%. This has meant that the number of properties traded in June has increased to 9 transactions, and therefore caution must be taken when interpreting these figures, though market dynamics are very much identical to those in the northern region.

Land delivery accelerated by 43% on average in the first half of the year, surpassing the 33% average for 2017. The additional stands were mainly concentrated in the coastal and northern areas were larger stands of about 451m² and 791m² were recorded. Walvis Bay and Swakopmund delivered the most land during June, whiles land delivery in the central parts of the country, edged up by 8% year on year. This has resulted in over 700 new stands delivered over the first six months of the year, which is a significant improvement over last year's figure. Additionally, municipal plans approved have also ticked up, which is further leading indicator that housing volumes should increase even further.

Josephat concludes that with economic growth stagnating and consumer confidence waning, the most talked-about event in recent months is the fact that house prices have been falling, and correctly so. He adds: "Given that the property market has lagged economic growth by 18 months, we still expect price pressures to persist until the end of 2019. While the 43% increase in land delivery is good news to those in the housing backlog, and that there's going to continue to be downward pressure on house prices, the weak labour market and sluggish wage growth have dampened demand for housing. Additionally, cement prices have been falling, since the introduction of a second manufacturer in the market, which should provide further encouragement for developers to take advantage of the lower input costs. All these factors point towards increased supply, which should add further downward pressure on house prices, as reflected in our quarterly estate agent survey, which shows that properties are selling 9.3% below asking price. Despite recent price developments, which we believe are premature, we kept our forecasts, for house prices to contract by 5.8% for 2018 and a further 1.2% in 2019."

For more information, please contact Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, 081 143 6599 or elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Financial planning brings the future into your present


30 August 2018: "No one knows what the future holds, and it is thus important that you have enough insurance to cover your mortgage, child's education and your essential expenses," says Ian van der Walt, Channel Head: Advisory at FNB Namibia. "We do not know what life throws at us and therefore life insurance can help cover funeral costs, bills and ongoing expenses, debt, future needs like education and your spouse's retirement."

Van der Walt advises that the decision to get life insurance should be fairly simple. "If anyone depends on you financially, you need life insurance. If you have debt, live in a rented property or have a mortgage, if you are the breadwinner or one of the salary contributors to the family, you need life insurance."

Van der Walt encourages customers to contact FNB Namibia for all their financial needs which extend beyond life insurance to include more products and services such as income replacement cover, funeral cover, fiduciary services, savings and investments, retirement, disability and critical illness cover as well as business insurance.

"Our lives are constantly changing and each change can affect our financial situation and our insurance needs. Life insurance coverage is one investment you can make now that will cover your family's assets and ensure their future financial stability. Life insurance can't replace you, but it can give your family what they need when you are gone," concludes van der Walt.

For more information, please contact Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, 081 143 6599 or elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Why Namibians need to pay attention to the global decline in cheques usage


29 August 2018: Globally, the use of cheques is consistently declining as financial institutions and most of their customers increasingly adopt technologically advanced payment alternatives that are far more convenient and cheaper.

Johan van der Westhuizen, FNB Executive Officer: Business says in simple terms, cheques convey a written instruction to your bank to pay money from or into your bank account, and due to manual functionality in this process, there are substantial disadvantages that go with this option.

"Over the years, the growing usage of electronic payment methods, high expenses, inefficient processes and vulnerability to fraud have been key contributors to the global decline in cheques usage. In addition, cheques do not offer users the convenience and relative security provided by digital payment solutions."

Van der Westhuizen says Namibia's migration away from cheques has mainly been driven by customers embracing the convenience of emerging technology. However, he says, there is a role for all financial institutions to educate customers about alternative payment methods and their added benefits.

Benefits for using alternative payment methods

Digital migration - the global community is rapidly going digital, which means acceptance of digital payments is on the increase - customers and businesses are demanding instant and seamless integrated user-experience.

Value-added incentives - financial service providers are increasingly incentivising customers for embracing digital platforms. For instance, FNB rewards individuals with Cash Back paid directly into their linked savings pocket for adopting certain digital banking behaviour.

Save on fees - cheques still carry a higher expense for both the customer and their bank compared to digital payments which can be processed at a fraction of the cost.

Improved safety - Cheque fraud is a global phenomenon and Namibia is not immune, whereas digital platforms are equipped to help clients mitigate fraud at a click of a button.

"In this regard, we have innovations like smart inContact, which allows you to safely approve Online Banking transactions on the FNB Banking App, verify devices that login to your profile, and use secure messaging to immediately report any fraudulent transactions 24/7," adds van der Westhuizen.

Convenience - as written instruction to your bank to pay money from or into your bank account, the process in which funds move between banks is extended over several days, typically 7 days. Digital payments, which include Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Card payments enable flow of funds to be done much quicker, and with little to no reliance on visiting the nearest branch.

"The universal shift towards digital payments is rapidly emerging across societies and in markets such as the United Kingdom, we've seen dedicated working groups tasked with fact-finding around the future of cheques vs digital payments. We are also on the same mission to understand our customers' needs and how we can help in adopting alternate payment methods," concludes van der Westhuizen.

For more information, please contact Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, 081 143 6599 or elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Save in foreign currency with an FNB Global Account


28 August 2018: Have you dreamt of putting aside a little extra in a foreign currency for that once-in-a-lifetime holiday abroad? Or just simply being able to save and transact in foreign currency to avoid having all your 'eggs in one basket'?

"Now is your chance", says Neville Ntema. FNB Namibia proudly offers the exciting Global Account. Ntema explains: "A Global Account is an account in a foreign currency that allows you to invest your foreign investment allowances. There are no account fees and no interest is earned on this account. You will be able to make payments to offshore beneficiaries while your earnings from abroad can be paid into your Global Account. You are furthermore able to keep earnings received from abroad in foreign currency and cash out your pounds, euros and US dollars, during and after your travel and you can use your Global Account to order, reload and cash out your foreign currency."

This account is held in Namibia and has the elements of an offshore account. Customers can put money into the account in Namibia as it can be linked to the customer's other accounts via the internet or the FNB App.

This fantastic opportunity is open to any Namibian who is 18 years or older, has the minimum opening balance of N$10 000, is a registered tax payer and whose FNB Lifestyle account is in good standing. "We look forward to assisting our existing and potentially new customers with this great new Global Account and any of our nearest branches. For more information customers are also welcome to call our Contact Centre on 061 299 2222 or their relationship manager," concludes Neville.

For more information, please contact Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, 081 143 6599 or elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Maintain a disciplined savings mindset


23 August 2018: According to a survey done by the Namibia Statistics Agency - barely one in ten people have savings to fall back on when they run out of money.

"A savings mindset is an ongoing process and if executed correctly will help you and your family in the future," says Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Namibia. "The volatile economy has exhausted household expenditure and has forced consumers to re-evaluate their spending habits and look for simple saving methods."

Emphasis needs to be placed on creating a saving strategy that is aligned to your life-goals, needs and wants. Some will save towards wedding related expenses, anniversaries, significant birthday's, local or international holidays or home renovations, others will open a Savings Account in case of emergency, while others will save to be able to spoil themselves with, for example a branded leather handbag or designer shoes. "Whatever your savings goal is, ensure that you start saving sooner rather than later."

Elzita outlines five core saving principles which will help customers in building their savings strategy:

  • Live within your means: Don't overspend on things that you don't need. Look at your current situation and assess what is important and what is unnecessary in your life. "Over extending yourself with unnecessary debt just adds strain to relationships and is not sustainable in the long-term."
  • Have a goal-based mindset: Your monthly savings goals should speak to your household and family needs. Determine your short, medium or long-term goals as this will help eliminate wasteful expenditure and help you identify saving avenues.
  • Prioritise your budget: A well-managed budget will help you keep track of your expenses and your savings. Ensure that this budget is kept up-to-date and includes all your household expenses.
  • Pay yourself first: Key to enjoying your money is to pay yourself first. Allocate a certain amount to yourself - which you can use in case of emergency, to spoil yourself or to save towards a specific goal.
  • Have a Savings Account that you will use: Build your savings with a savings account or a cash investment account that will help you save and accumulate wealth over time.

Discipline and commitment are needed to ensure that you stick to your savings goals. "Whether big or small, your initial saving steps will make a difference and help in building a saving culture in South Africa," concludes Elzita.

FNB offers a range of savings and cash investment accounts where you will not only benefit from attractive interest rates, but your capital and quoted returns are fully guaranteed, so you can trust that your hard-earned money is kept safe and growing. FNB also introduced the cash back reward programme, bank-your-change as well as numerous digital options which are free of charge. All of these can be actioned by customers and will assist them in saving on a monthly basis.

For more information, please contact Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, 081 143 6599 or elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Tips for managing your inheritance


6 August 2018: How often have we heard that an inheritance has been squandered within a short period and people have been left with nothing? An inheritance can be a great financial bonus, but if it is not managed correctly there can be numerous challenges and getting rich quick may turn out to be a curse, rather than a blessing," says Lucas Kotzé, Head: FNB Fiduciary.

"Resist the urge to use the money, let it sink in first and put the money in a short-term bank deposit while working out what you want to do with it. Don't tell anyone about your windfall. It's amazing how people suddenly want to be part of your best friend circle once they find out about your inheritance," Lucas adds.

Further, often, if there is no will, family members who have been tasked with handling the affairs, do not have the technical knowledge to execute the affairs and might end up paying too much or handling it inefficiently. "FNB Fiduciary can assist by handling all the technical issues, whether there is a will or not," advises Lucas.

Tips to managing your inheritance

  • Say no to impulse purchases
  • Understand the implications of your inheritance
  • Do not resign from your job
  • Have a personal finance day
  • Make a list of who you owe and what the rate of interest is
  • Portion the funds
  • Diversify, diversify, and diversify
  • Enlist the help of a financial advisor

"Advice from a professional financial advisor will help you manage your inheritance better. If invested correctly, you and your family will benefit greatly in the long run," concludes Lucas.

For more information, please contact Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, 081 143 6599 or elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Extra cash back greatly appreciated


25 July 2018: Since the launch of the FNB Rewards programme in November 2017 customers and employees of the bank have earned over N$8 million in cash back. "We are extremely happy with the rewards that our customers and employees have earned over the past nine months for doing everyday things like: purchasing airtime on Cellphone Banking, Online Banking or using the Banking App; filling up with fuel with an FNB Credit Card, and spending with a debit or credit card. Cash Backs have been paid into a linked Savings Pocket for customers to use whenever, and on whatever they please," says Ryno Holland-Mutter, FNB Rewards Manager.

Oshoyeli Nuuyuni: "Initially when the rewards were launched I was extremely excited and when I changed my banking behaviour by using the app for banking transfers, payment and a whole range of other stuff. I also started to transact more on my credit card and now I smile all the way at the end of each month.

Zico Maasdorp advises that after his branch upgraded his credit card and fixed the marketing consent he received his first reward money. "I then changed my spending behaviour by swiping for fuel and other purchases with my credit card, and now I earn great money every month and have additional funds available. Thank you FNB."

There are seven possible goals you can aspire to in order to reach the next reward level. These include:

  • Going digital on all statements, using the FNB App, transacting on FNB Debit and Credit Card;
  • Growing your savings balance;
  • Having an Investment Account, a personal loan and/or a home loan.

If all the criteria are met, you will achieve level seven of the Reward programme and are then rewarded with a cash back on a variety of transactions such as paying for fuel with the credit card, purchasing groceries with the debit card and paying for pre-paid airtime.

FNB Namibia will reward customers with:

  • up to 10% on fuel purchases with Credit Card;
  • up to .025% on Debit Card spend;
  • up to 2.25% on Credit Card spend; and
  • up to 10% on prepaid airtime purchased.

For more information, please contact Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2125, 081 143 6599 or elzita.beukes@fnbnamibia.com.na

Do More and Pay Less with FNB's Digital Channels


28 June 2018: FNB Namibia's customers continue to save money and earn rewards as they shift their financial transactions away from branches to an ever-widening range of easy digital channels. The drive for customers to benefit from FNB's innovative solutions such as Advance Deposit Taking (ADTs) machines, the Cash at Till service, the newly introduced CashPlus banking and extended eWallet services coming soon, continues to deliver better ways in which FNB customers can bank more affordably, easily and efficiently.

Just as over the past few years, FNB Namibia has remained committed to putting customers first by keeping several major fees unchanged, while even decreasing others. ATM withdrawals, Advance Deposit Taking (ADT) machines, monthly fees on the Student, and Premier Bundled option, eWallet transactions and online payments and transfers are some of the fees that have remained flat, while App payments and card purchases have both seen decreases of 87% and 17% respectively. To further enable their customers to overcome airtime and connectivity hurdles when using FNB e-banking options, FNB Namibia has equipped four of its branches with free Wifi and will roll this out to a further 14 branches countrywide soon. This free Wifi service enables customers to download the FNB App immediately and start banking more affordably.

At the same time, the FNB Rewards programme has been an exciting bonus to the lives of FNB Namibia's customers. Making easy changes from old-fashioned banking behaviour to digital and cashless transacting, means that FNB customers have been able to earn cash back directly into their savings accounts with little effort. To date, FNB Namibia has paid out over N$8 million to qualifying customers since the launch of the programme in November last year.

"More and more customers have not visited a physical branch in the past nine months, opting instead to transact on the Bank's digital platforms, exciting evidence that our customers are experiencing the value of embracing FNB self-servicing channels," says Sarel van Zyl, CEO of FNB Namibia Holdings. Other exciting additions to FNB's self-service toolbox include ADTs (automatic deposit taking machines), where FNB customers can deposit up to N$20 000 per day, Cash at Till, allowing FNB customers to withdraw cash at selected retailers after swiping their debit card to pay for purchases, and CashPlus, which offers FNB customers cash deposit and withdrawal services at selected Small and Medium Retail outlets. "Introducing banking solutions to remote areas, essentially to wherever our customers are, is one of the ways we pro-actively answer our own question of 'how can we help you?" says van Zyl.

At the same time that many FNB fees remain unchanged, FNB announced that inContact, FNB's innovative messaging service, and Prepaid Electricity Purchases will remain free on all electronic channels, and continues to offer customers free subscription to FNB's electronic channels i.e. FNB Online Banking, FNB Cellphone Banking and the FNB App. As an initial promotional offer, the FNB Cash at Till offering will also be offered free after 1 July.

FNB Namibia encourages all customers to familiarise themselves with the pricing guide, to ensure that they choose the bank products best suited to their individual needs. The pricing guide is available on the website of the bank www.fnbnamibia.com.na.

Let us start saving in 5 simple steps


26 June 2018: Saving and investing has become an important aspect of our lives. More so than before, we need to look at innovative ways to grow our money.

"With the increase in household expenses due to the tough economic climate, rising fuel price and the rising inflation, we need to ensure that we have enough saved for the future or any arising eventualities" says Elzita Beukes, Communications Manager of FNB Namibia. "And in light of June being savings month, we want to suggest the following savings steps that will help start the savings journey."

  • Savings Plan: This initial step is the most important step in the process. You need to plan, understand and choose what you want to save for. Be it for a gift, a new pair of sunglasses or long-term goals like education, retirement - your savings plan will be your blueprint to starting your savings journey.
  • Budget: There's nothing worse than not having spare cash on hand, especially in an emergency. Ensure that you have an up-to date budget that details your daily and ongoing expenses clearly. This budget should be updated monthly.
  • Goals: Ensure that your short and long-term goals are clearly defined. This helps you identify your priorities and distinguish between needs, wants and responsibilities.
  • Research and execution: So, you've planned and budgeted, now you need to decide where you would like to put the money. When making your decision, look at the interest rate offered and for long-term goal, partner with a trusted money manager to help you receive good returns.
  • Review: Monitor and ensure that you stick to your savings goals. This is an important step as we often tend to ignore our goals and spend more than we should.

FNB Namibia offers a variety of options where people will save without feeling the pinch. These include: FNB Rewards, which gives customers cash back in their linked savings pocket when they use electronic banking channels such as internet banking, cellphone banking and the FNB App. "Because this saving is automatic it will not influence your monthly plan at all, and could be your first step in saving", adds Elzita.

Another great way to save, without actually realising, is the bank-your-change product by FNB Namibia. This feature is an innovative way for customers to automatically save their "left over" cents when they swipe their FNB debit card at any point of sale terminal. "Talk to our people and receive all the information you need to become savings savvy," concludes Elzita.