Capitec will this year appoint more data and technology experts to drive its innovation initiatives.
The bank today released its interim results for the six months ended August, saying its focus remains on being “innovative and responsive” in an ever-changing environment.
To achieve this, Capitec says it will continue to hire data and technology experts for the rest of the financial year to help with the development of products and services that enhance and improve digital experience.
Capitec has steadily increased its workforce since its inception 20 years ago. Starting with a handful of employees, the bank now has a staff complement of 15 295.
In the six months under review, Capitec appointed 1 642 external employees, with 20% fulfilling data and technology roles.
It says: “Employees in the data and technology field remain in high demand locally and abroad. We are passionate about empowering and upskilling our employees through education and mentorship. This resulted in 30% of our vacant positions being filled by internal candidates.
“We will offer an ecosystem of services to address clients’ needs. Our ‘Live Better’ rewards programme and value-added services will expand.
“Through innovation and by making use of data and technology, we will develop products and services to enhance our clients’ financial well-being and improve their digital experience.”
Capitec says its business-focused unit is making good progress with the re-engineering of systems and processes, and the migration to cloud computing.
The bank notes: “Testing of the new online banking system and the remote on-boarding process will start soon. This will enable the business to manage the anticipated volumes when we rebrand from Mercantile Bank to Capitec Business, and will ensure we provide business banking clients with the high levels of service Capitec clients currently enjoy.
“We anticipate that the rebrand will occur in the first quarter of the next financial year.”
Providing a brief account of Capitec’s tech strategy, the bank says the drive to migrate its IT infrastructure to the cloud is an integral part of its digital banking journey, adding the cost of using software-as-a-service contributed to the increase in operating expenses.
In the six months, Capitec’s operating expenses increased by 1% to R5.8 billion (August 2021: R5.7 billion). The cost-to-income ratio, Capitec says, was 40% (August 2021: 45%), while operating expenses excluding incentives grew by 9%.
“Our clients’ shift to digital transacting is gradually reducing the cost of making cash available, although there is a lag in the benefit due to the fixed component of cash costs. Costs associated with making cash available to clients did, however, decrease by R43 million during the reporting period.”
Turning to transaction income for the six months, Capitec says volumes increased by 26%, as clients migrated away from cash transactions to digital and POS transactions.
“Our focus is on affordable and accessible banking for our clients through innovation and low transaction fees on digital transactions. Our digital fees were unchanged for the fourth year in a row and we added free payment features on our app.
“Digital transaction volumes grew by 27% year-on-year to 791 million for the reporting period.
“Transaction volumes on the banking app increased by 51% from 340 million to 515 million and represent 65% of digital transactions (August 2021: 55%). POS transaction volumes increased by 32% to 836 million (August 2021: 631 million) for the reporting period.”