FNB, Capitec tied for South Africa's best digital bank - TechCentral

FNB, Capitec tied for South Africa’s best digital bank

First National Bank and Capitec have tied for the title of South Africa’s best digital bank in research agency Columinate | Insight Consulting’s latest SITEisfaction survey.

The survey, launched in 2012, is an annual measure of customer satisfaction with digital banking services in South Africa, and rates each banking institution with a score from -100 (worst possible experience) to +100 (best possible experience). This is measured for both Internet banking via a Web browser and smartphone app banking.

Columinate surveyed a “representative sample” of Internet banking users from the five main South African consumer banks.

Capitec and FNB tied in the 2019 report, a score of 79 each. These two banks have consistently been rated either first or second in the eight years that the survey has been running.

“Looking at our tied winners this year, it’s evident that FNB can learn something about simplicity from Capitec, and Capitec can learn something about identifying, adopting and rolling out the appropriate technologies for its customers from FNB,” said Columinate managing partner Henk Pretorius.

“FNB’s focus on technology and Capitec’s focus on simplicity have served both banks well, but it may be time to broaden that focus if they hope to remain competitive in the coming years, especially with the introduction of new, simple, tech-savvy banking brands.”

A different picture

From an Internet banking perspective – a banking service accessed through a computer’s Web browser – FNB scored slightly higher in 2019, raising its score from 75 in 2018 to 77. Capitec saw larger gains, growing its score from 70 to match FNB’s 77. Nedbank grew from 60 to 63 and Standard Bank from 55 to 59. Absa rose from 48 to 51.

In this category, the evaluated banks have remained mostly stable since 2018. However, the five-year trend data paints a different picture, Columinate said. Capitec has made the largest gains in the past five years, increasing its score by 15 points. Nedbank has enjoyed similar success, scoring 13 points higher since 2015. Absa has also noted a significant upward trend, scoring 12 points higher today than five years ago. Surprisingly, FNB made the lowest gains, logging an overall improvement of just two points over the last five years. Standard Bank suffered a seven-point decline over the same period.

The most popular features on the Internet banking platforms are still traditional banking services, from paying beneficiaries to transferring money between accounts (both at 69% usage), obtaining bank statements (57%) and viewing available balances (54%). Non-traditional usage of the platform include purchasing airtime (48%) and data bundles (40%) as well as buying prepaid electricity (34%).

In the mobile banking category, which focuses exclusively on the banks’ smartphone applications, Capitec was the winner, despite falling from a score of 84 in 2018 to 82 this year. FNB moved from 84 in 2018 to 81 in 2019, while Nedbank shed a single point, moving from 69 to 68. Standard Bank suffered the “greatest consumer backlash”, its score dropping from 74 to 59, the Columinate survey found. Absa is the only bank that managed to gain some ground in the category, growing from 59 to 62.

While making payments to a beneficiary (73%) and transferring funds between accounts (72%) are still the most popular functions of the apps, there is a marked increase in non-traditional services, with 69% of mobile banking app users purchasing airtime, 59% data bundles and 47% prepaid electricity.  — © 2019 NewsCentral Media

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