If you log into First National Bank (FNB) online banking, this coming Sunday, don’t get a fright – a new look and feel awaits customers, and the bank hopes to garner more praise for its award-winning web banking portal.

FNB, arguably one of the most innovative banks in the country – at least technologically – says that bank branches are dead. It argues that few people still need bank branches, in this modern age, and that smartphones are the bank branches of the future. These devices, it says, offer contextual banking – offering people access to the banking experience and their finances when they need it, and where they need it.

With that philosophy in mind, it’s developed its new online banking portal to cater more towards self-service banking. And that new site will go live on Sunday.

The bank’s technical and design team have opted to develop a responsive website – one that will adapt its layout according to the size of the screen it’s viewed on. This means you can use the new website on any smartphone, tablet, or computer, without the need for an app. A curious choice by the same bank that’s been praised for its very usable mobile apps on iOS and Android.

Scared of change? Concerned you won’t know where to find anything? FNB’s taken those concerns to heart before they’ve become a reality – it says it’s beefed up its call centre staff to handle the anticipated number of calls on Sunday. Throughout the transition process it’ll have resources available to help people get used to the new layout, and get the most out of the new functionality. There will also be interactive demonstrations of the new banking portal on the FNB website, where existing and non-FNB clients can test-drive the new features.

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.