Clickatell, worldwide provider of mobile messaging solutions for banks and financial institutions, is pleased to announce that First National Bank (FNB) has won a prestigious 2009 Model Bank Award in Mobile Banking from Celent. FNB, one of South Africa's "big four" banks, is a premier retail bank and an early pioneer and market share leader in providing mobile banking to millions. As a Clickatell customer since 2004, FNB has pioneered the use of SMS in many innovative mobile banking services which have been broadly adopted by more than 80% of their personal banking customers in South Africa. Celent is an international strategy consultancy and leading, global research and advisory firm specializing in financial services - with offices and client relationships across North America, Europe and Asia.

In early 2008, Celent launched its annual Model Bank 2009 award nomination process aimed at answering the question: "What would it look like for a bank to do everything right with today's technology?" In winning this award, FNB and other award recipients are acknowledged as leading banks deploying best practices, which other financial services providers should follow. Clickatell was cited for its role in provisioning effective and innovative SMS technology and text messaging services allowing FNB to expand its footprint into Africa, which ultimately helped FNB win this esteemed award. The 2009 Model Bank Report highlighting winning bank case studies is available at www.Celent.com.

"Celent is pleased to present FNB with this award," said Jacob Jegher, senior analyst in Celent's banking group, and author of the report. "Among many excellent nominations this year, FNB was selected for their work in mobile banking in demonstrating how mobile text banking can be deployed and broadly adopted to prevent fraud, reduce operational costs, increase customer acquisition, loyalty and value."

FNB's SMS-based alert service - inContact™ -- has proven to significantly decrease fraud by engaging customers in the process of real-time monitoring of account activity through text message and other mobile services. With more than 80% of its customers subscribed to inContact, FNB reports that since the mobile alert service has been launched and promoted, overall customer acquisition and retention rates have also grown significantly. Further, the bank reports that significant cost savings have also been achieved as demand for more expensive call center customer support activities via voice calls with live agents have been addressed by use of more effective, less expensive text banking communications.

"The Clickatell service helped us to create early consumer confidence in mobile banking across a number of countries we serve. Since our launch of inContact, we have seen the service become the most popular mobile banking service offered in the marketplace across the many markets we serve," commented Len Pienaar, CEO Mobile Transact Solutions, FNB. "Our long-standing partnership with Clickatell to provide trusted, reliable SMS services helps us provide customers with anytime, anywhere mobile alerts so they can manage their finances. We are pleased to be honored with this prestigious award from Celent and look forward to continuing to provide innovative mobile banking solutions to our customers."

"No longer a 'nice to have', mobile banking has fast become a necessity when offering customers compelling banking options. Banks like FNB are proving the tremendous value proposition in the use of SMS in their mobile banking strategies as they strive to profitably retain, grow and better serve their customers, especially in the current economy," said Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell. "Clickatell has been working with banks around the world for almost a decade and has the know-how and demonstrated track-record of success in delivering compelling mobile text banking services. Easy to implement and offer, Clickatell SMS Receipts™ provide our customers with immediate text banking alerts of account status and activity, fraud alerts and more."

About FNB

FNB is the oldest bank in South Africa and traces its origins back to the Eastern Province Bank, which was formed in Grahamstown in 1838. Today, FNB trades as a division of FirstRand Bank Limited. Mobile and Transact Solutions is a division within First National Bank (FNB), which forms part of the FirstRand Group. In line with FNB's overall vision and values, Mobile and Transact Solutions (MATS) aims to be a cost effective banking channel that provides innovative and affordable products and services within Cellphone Banking, Prepaid Services, Expansion and eWallet Services. MATS strives to improve ease of access to banking technologies, including the provision of technologies not conventionally associated with traditional banks.

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