Absa sees uptick in digitally-active customers

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 17 Aug 2022

Absa Group notched up more digitally-active customers in the first half of 2022, compared to the same period last year.

This week, the banking group released its results for the period ended 30 June, showing the total number of digitally-active customers climbed to 2.8 million in the first half of this year.

By comparison, Absa had 2.6 million digitally-active customers in the same period last year.

The bank defines a digitally-active customer as one that uses Absa online (internet banking), USSD or the Absa banking app within a 90-day period.

“From a South African retail perspective, the business continues to digitise, with a focus on ensuring consistent customer engagements and continuously enhancing product and channel digital journeys, specifically on the Absa banking app,” says the bank.

“Customer acceptance of digital channels accelerated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and has continued during 2022, with active retail and business banking digital customers increasing by 10% to 2.2 million in South Africa. “

The pandemic disrupted the traditional way of banking, resulting in the accelerated adoption of digital transactions through apps, QR payments and digital tap-to-pay options.

According to Absa, its banking app has experienced a strong 21% growth in new customers, with over 1.4 million now able to authenticate digitally using AbsaID – Absa’s facial biometric capability.

“In South Africa, digital penetration in our value segments is approaching 75% and continues to show positive momentum. In addition, our new-to-bank transactional customers are over 70% registered on at least one of our digital channels.”

The big-four bank adds the growth has been underpinned by the launch of initiatives such as Absa Advantage − a digital programme developed specifically to support digital adoption.

“We believe that recent enhancements to the Absa banking app, including end-to-end personal loan fulfilment, increased ‘Abby’ (Absa’s chatbot) navigational features and the Security Hub, which enables customers to check their digital banking safety, will further support our digital aspirations.”