Bank Better, Live Better

open a Capitec account anywhere, any time

The digital era is changing the way we bank. Thanks to remote onboarding, it’s possible to open a Capitec account at any time from anywhere.

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Remote onboarding is the future of digital banking. While it might sound like yet another buzzword, remote onboarding is another way Capitec is making banking even simpler.

What is remote onboarding?

It’s a process that offers the convenience of being able to open a bank account from your home. No one will know that you’re still wearing your pajamas and haven’t brushed your hair.

All you need is a smartphone, internet connection, your ID and a few minutes.

You can either apply to open a savings account with Capitec or, if you’re already an existing client, activate the app on a new device using facial biometrics without going into a branch. “Think of remote onboarding as the tool that allows us to verify clients and that helps to make your banking life a lot simpler,” explains Hermé van Der Westhuizen, Product Owner: Remote Onboarding. “We also use this process to check that you’re a real person and not someone who is using a photo or video of you to open an account fraudulently.”

As a first-time Capitec client, remote onboarding will work this way: Once you’ve downloaded the Capitec banking app to your phone, you’ll be taken through 8 easy steps to open a Capitec account. You’ll start by scanning your face, which is much like taking a selfie. The app will explain where to hold your phone and when to move it closer to your face. Bad hair day? Not to worry, we won’t post this photo to your Facebook page or use it as a profile picture on the app. It’s only used to check your details against your ID information at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

Next, you’ll scan in your ID (you can use the old green barcoded one or the new smart card or SA passport). Once the app has this information, it will compare your facial scan against the data the DHA has available for you. This part of the process happens in real time. 

“When we’ve done all our checks and found that your photo matches the DHA’s details, we will know that it really is you who is trying to open an account. Then you’ll be taken through the next steps, which include filling in a few personal details and signing three agreements,” explains Van Der Westhuizen. “Don’t worry, you don’t need a printer and scanner; you’ll sign these agreements by just by scanning your face!”

As soon as you’ve signed the agreements, your account will be active immediately and you’ll have access to all the Capitec features available on the app. “The only thing you’ll have to do thereafter is to visit a branch to collect your card. However, if you’re unable to visit a branch, we do have a virtual card that is available immediately on the app.”

Ahead of the curve

Capitec started planning for remote onboarding a couple of years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic. “Part of our digital strategy was to onboard clients digitally, so they don’t need to visit a branch,” says Van Der Westhuizen.

“Although remote onboarding holds many benefits for our clients, it has benefits for us, too. Currently, we sign up between 200 000 and 300 000 clients in branches per month. We have a saying: simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. As much as we want to simplify our clients' lives, we also want to simplify our internal processes.”

The benefits of remote onboarding

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do things, and many of us no longer feel comfortable going into busy centres where the risk of coming into contact with other people is high. “It’s become important to provide clients with a digital platform that allows them to bank remotely,” says Van Der Westhuizen, “and even more so during COVID. As you can imagine, there's a big benefit in terms of health and safety.”

You’ll also save time as it takes only a few minutes to go through the entire process to open an account instead of having to go into a branch and waiting in a queue to open an account. Plus, using the app eliminates the need for signing page upon page of printed documents, which reduces our carbon footprint.

A benefit of remote onboarding for existing clients is that you can reset your PIN on the app without going into a branch. “You can use the face scanner to reset your PIN because we will be able to verify that it is in fact you and not a scammer,” says Van Der Westhuizen.

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