IT in Banking

Capitec, FNB named top digital banking innovators

Read time 3min 30sec
FNB scored the highest points for overall Internet banking experience.
FNB scored the highest points for overall Internet banking experience.

Local banks Capitec and First National Bank (FNB) have been declared the banks with best digital banking platforms in SA.

This is according to the 2019 edition of the SITEisfaction report, compiled by insights agency Columinate, covering local banks Absa, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank.

SITEisfaction is an annual measure of customer satisfaction with digital banking services in SA, and rates each banking institution with a score from -100 (worst possible experience) to +100 (best possible experience). Around 3 000 consumers responded to the survey.

Capitec and FNB tied for first place with a score of 79 each, as SA’s best digital banks. In previous reports, the two banks have consistently been rated either first or second.

The banks were rated based on consumers’ experience of their Internet banking (Web browser) and mobile banking (app) platforms and their innovative offerings.

Last year, the two banks were at loggerheads about the introduction of biometric solutions in ATMs after FNB claimed it was the first bank in SA to introduce the technology. Capitec refuted this, saying it was the first to roll out biometric solutions in ATMs, when it introduced its biometric verification technology in 2012.

Breaking borders

The South African banking sector is increasingly moving towards a ‘marketplace without boundaries’, with local banks continuing to introduce innovative platforms aimed at improving customer experience and cost reduction, notes the report.

From an Internet banking perspective, FNB scored slightly higher in 2019, raising its SITEisfaction score from 75 in 2018, to 77 in 2019. Capitec grew its Internet banking satisfaction levels from 70 in 2018, to 77 in 2019.

The other banks followed, with Nedbank growing from 60 in 2018 to 63 in 2019, and Standard Bank from 55 in 2018 to 59 in 2019. Standard Bank’s growth, according to the report, could be attributed to the upgrading of its legacy Internet banking platform and migration to an updated version. Absa moved from 48 in 2018, to 51 in 2019.

“The results show there is more than one way to win the battle for best digital experience,” says Henk Pretorius, managing partner of Columinate InSites Consulting.

“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. FNB’s focus on technology, and Capitec’s focus on simplicity has 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.”

The most popular features on the Internet banking platforms, according to the survey, were traditional transactions: paying beneficiaries, transferring money between accounts (both at 69% usage), including obtaining bank statements (57%) and viewing available balances (54%). Other most used services included purchasing of airtime (48%), data bundles (40%) and prepaid electricity (34%).

The survey found that online fraud was at an all-time high, with 69% of users reporting to have been targeted by fraudsters (up from 62% in 2018, and 46% in 2017), with one out of every three respondents (33%) falling victim to fraud (up from 22% in 2018 and 19% in 2017).

Banking on the move

Capitec, the mobile banking category winner, experienced a minor dip, moving from a SITEisfaction score of 84 in 2018 to 82 in 2019. Similarly, FNB moved from 84 in 2018, to 81 in 2019, while Nedbank shed a single point in the last year, moving from 69 in 2018, to 68 in 2019.

Standard Bank suffered the greatest consumer backlash, with its SITEisfaction score dropping from 74 in 2018, to 59 in 2019. Absa is the only bank that gained some ground in the category, growing from 59 in 2018, to 62 in 2019.

Giuseppe Virgillito, FNB Digital spokesperson, comments: “Retaining the ranking as one of the best digital banks in a highly competitive atmosphere affirms that our strategy to provide the best customer experience continues to gain momentum. We are proud to enable customers to manage their money through a trusted and integrated banking platform.”

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