FNB (very grudgingly) admits PayPal talks – in 35 words

By Branko Brkic 11 February 2010

First National Bank on Thursday afternoon issued a (very, very terse) statement confirming the buzz. Yes, it is in talks with the eBay-owned payment system. No, it isn’t saying anything else.

FNB is clearly after Vodacom’s record as the most terse publicly listed company. Here is the entire statement it issued on Thursday. Verbatim. In full.

Virginia Magapatona, Head of Corporate Communications at First National Bank (FNB), today confirmed that FNB is in discussions with PayPal and the South African Reserve Bank and further information will be released in due course.

What is missing, you ask? An expected date for implementation, any indication of what phase the talks are in, an expression of excitement about the talks, a mention that they are exclusive for South Africa. It doesn’t even have the traditional “about” blurb for PayPal, for the love of goodness.

So if you were of the conspiracy-theory camp that held FNB had deliberately leaked the rumour onto the social media circuit, well, you couldn’t have been more wrong.

We still believe, on the basis of very little data, that the parties are keen to conclude this before the World Cup. We also continue to believe that FNB will integrate its eBucks hybrid alternative currency/loyalty programme with PayPal, which would make for a very interesting product indeed.

By Phillip de Wet

Read more: The Daily Maverick


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