Bank Better, Live Better
how Capitec became SA’s biggest digital bank28/05/2021
Growing into South Africa’s biggest digital bank is no mean feat. Here’s how we did it.
Capitec is South Africa’s biggest digital bank.
It’s quite a powerful statement to make, but one we can make with confidence. 20 years ago we set out to disrupt retail banking in the country, and have since rapidly become the biggest digital bank. Today, we have almost 16 million clients, of which more than 8 million bank with us digitally. How did we get there?
Milestones on the road to 16 million clients
The COVID-19 pandemic no doubt presented the biggest challenge since our inception 20 years ago, but it’s also given us an opportunity to adapt and think differently. We saw a fundamental shift in how clients bank during 2020, which is why it was important to be proactive in enhancing our banking app. We did this by adding new functionalities, such as remote onboarding to allow new clients to open an account from anywhere at any time, and by launching a virtual card.
We now offer biometric eSignature service, which means documents can be signed digitally. This was the final step in becoming a paperless bank. We also launched six new product offerings, including a full home-loan offering in partnership with SA Home Loans and access facility that offers clients revolving credit up to R250 000.
What we’ve seen is that you need to have a big branch network, a very strong digital approach, and very strong client engagement. Certain clients want to go to a branch and certain clients want to do everything digitally. You have to cater to both. To do this, we’ve extended our footprint digitally through our banking app and physically with more than 840 Capitec branches across South Africa.
Client satisfaction remains crucial to our business. If a client is unhappy, they’ll move. You need to make sure that you fully understand and fulfil clients’ needs. If somebody can do it better than us, they can beat us. We therefore spend a lot of time understanding our clients and what they want from a bank.
Understanding what our clients want and need is how we’ve grown the number of clients using our digital platforms grows by 100 000 per month, which has taken us to 8.6 million digital-banking clients. Over the last year, our total client base has grown by an average of 160 000 clients per month to push our total number of clients to almost 16 million, and making us South Africa’s biggest digital bank.
We believe the strong client growth we’ve seen, particularly over the last year, is testament to the fact that our offering of simplified, affordable banking delivered through personalised service is more relevant than ever.
Simplify banking. Live better
We made the decision to keep our fees largely unchanged from last year to help our clients financially through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Global One monthly admin fee remains a flat R5, while our credit card monthly fee has stayed at R40.
Our diverse client base shows that our approach not to exclude clients based on income appeals to the full spectrum of South Africans. It’s for this reason we don’t offer different tiers of banking or benefits based on income. No matter what you earn, the Global One admin fee costs R5 per month (provided you have a minimum balance of R25 in your main savings account), and swiping your card for purchases online or instore is free.
Our intention has always been to offer our clients affordable and simple banking. Digital banking allows us to continue simplifying banking for our clients, as they’re able to bank from anywhere at any time.
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