First National Bank’s mobile virtual network operator, FNB Connect, has announced it is zero-rating its customers’ WhatsApp data traffic. It’s the second operator in South Africa, after Cell C, to introduce zero-rated WhatsApp.
All data flowing across WhatsApp, including text, images and video, does not incur any charges on FNB Connect. The bank quietly introduced zero-rated WhatsApp on 1 May.
To benefit from the service, FNB customers have to have an FNB Connect Sim card in their phones. The zero-rated WhatsApp is, however, only available as a promotion which expires on 31 July.
“During this period, customers will be able to use the WhatsApp Messenger service free from any data costs. This means that customers are not required to have any data to use WhatsApp.”
FNB Connect, which was launched in mid-2015, is a value-add service for FNB banking clients.
A large portion of FNB Connect customers use WhatsApp on a daily basis, the bank said in a statement.
South Africa’s larger operators, including Vodacom and MTN, have shied away from zero-rating so-called “over the top” (OTT) services such as WhatsApp, arguing instead that such services should be more heavily regulated.
Cell C, on other hand, has worked closely with OTT providers such as WhatsApp and parent Facebook, to offer zero-rated services to end users. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media