Philani Potwana is the person to thank for giving people the ability to withdraw money from their bank accounts without using their bank cards. The cashless withdrawal system led to FNB being named the most innovative bank in the world in 2012.
Having led the team that came up with the innovation, Potwana says he learned one of his most important lessons,
“acknowledging the team of people around me and that we are stronger together”.
He started his career at FNB straight after completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and was chosen for the bank’s graduate programme. At the age of 20 he was appointed as a trainee systems analyst.
Potwana is FNB’s youngest chief executive and looks after the bank’s feeder base of customers earning up to R120 000 a year. He believes that growing up in rural Eastern Cape puts him in the best position to understand the needs of the bank’s customers. “We therefore have an incredible opportunity to educate and help them with their finances. This is not just a job for me,” he says.
He is interested in development, imparting financial management principles to consumers, and mentors learners in Alexandra, Johannesburg.