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Wednesday December 6th, 2023

FriMi: Unlocking digital banking 2.0

Randil Boteju, Senior Vice President, Sales & Digital Banking, Nations Trust Bank

Digital tech promises to empower people and uplift lifestyles. With FriMi, Nations Trust Bank is making that a reality for all

Nations Trust Bank’s FriMi is more than just a mobile app for digital banking transactions: it’s creating a digital integrated financial ecosystem for all, says Randil Boteju, Senior Vice President – Sales & Digital Banking at Nations Trust Bank. FriMi is a lifestyle app that can perform banking transactions, third-party payments and more. “Since our launch in 2016, we have revolutionized digital banking and remain the market leader in the space,” Boteju says in this interview.

How is the digital banking landscape changing in the world and where do you think Sri Lanka stands in this change?

There is an ongoing global digital banking revolution. Sri Lanka is making excellent progress towards a digital economy supported by the CBSL’s “Digital Banking Roadmap”, but there is still a long way to go.

Ultimately, digital platforms hold the power today and consumers want the convenience to be able to do all their financial activity from a single seamless platform and this is what we are striving for. We need to be prepared to embrace banking without a physical bank going forward.

However, although mobile penetration is high in Sri Lanka, there is room for improvement on the digital literacy rate which will drive adoption rates to make the Sri Lankan economy a digital economy as per the vision of the government of Sri Lanka.

Regulatory framework also needs to be updated to be in line with modern digital offerings and the CBSL is working hard together with the sector to update regulations.

Can you take us through Nations Trust Bank’s approach to digitalising banking?

Nations Trust Bank has taken an early start on digitalizing banking and has been able to establish world class platforms to ensure that we bring together banking, payments, saving and lifestyle all within a secure and seamless user experience.

Our solutions cover all areas and products across Consumer, SME and Corporate segments who demand every convenience at their fingertips. In the past, digital banking has been transactional, but this is changing. The future is about integration with other services and value additions.

It is also making banking more accessible as anyone with a smartphone can use FriMi, or any of our online platforms such as Mobile and Online Banking, IPGs, APIs, E-Box platform and Smart ATMs, to transact and pay anyone for anything.

The banks digital efforts were recognized when awarded the “Best Digital Bank in Sri Lanka 2020” at the Global Banking and Finance Awards ® 2020.

What role does FriMi play in Nations Trust Bank’s digital approach and what are the key differentiators we see when compared to the others in the market?

FriMi is enabling us to adopt a wide-reaching approach to digital banking that increases accessibility so that we emerge as the bank of the future.

Any Sri Lankan over 18 years of age with a smartphone can download the app and register for FriMi online. It is the first and, still only, digital banking app in Sri Lanka that provides true online customer onboarding.

There are no forms and no need to visit branches. This, along with FriMi’s other features, make it revolutionary.

FriMi is backed by one of Sri Lanka’s best innovative banks and is focused on driving a specific value proposition for consumers and merchant partners which provides unlimited versatility for both B2C and B2B use cases.

You can link all your accounts, cards and bills to FriMi, while also being able to use a variety of services from within the app. So, whether it is to buy or sell, access lending, save and invest, manage expenses, pay utility bills, remote payments, access financial solutions for businesses of all sizes or enjoy other benefits of a strategic partnership, FriMi enhances everyday activities of its users.

In addition to the convenience of transacting, having all financial services integrated in a single tool is game changing.

What space does FriMi occupy in the Sri Lanka’s digital space?

FriMi is not just about banking transactions, it’s about a digital integrated financial ecosystem that is open to all.

It is a lifestyle app combined with fully fledged banking facilities. By integrating with 3rd parties, we are able to deliver a whole slew of services right within the app. You could say that FriMi is part of a new generation of ‘digital banking 2.0’ services, that are more than simply transactional.

Since our launch in 2016, we have revolutionized digital banking and remain the market leader in the space. We take this opportunity to thank our customers and merchant partners for joining us on this incredible journey.

What does FriMi provide to be a fully-fledged digital bank?

We provide a host of banking services including interest earning accounts, digital FDs, Savings Pots, Round Up Savings and fully featured funds transfer, payments and financial tracking features.

Soon we will also be introducing Bucket List, which will help users to target save towards a particular goal.

What’s the outlook of the banking sector and future plans of FriMi?

The outlook is positive. We will continue to enable our users to enhance their lifestyles and make their financial lives much simpler. The features and functions of FriMi will only expand over time, which will further assist in this.

Presently, features such as payments, the lifestyle store, banking features and other versatile tools such as Bill Presentment and Bill Split are making everyday life easier.

Going forward, we intend to maintain our position within the market and further towards integration by creating new strategic partnerships and winning together as we transition into a digital economy. We are also committed to maintaining the highest standards for safety, security and customer service, in line with global industry standards and best practices.