Capitec – which turns 20 this year – has once again been named the bank with the happiest clients in the 2020 South African Consumer Satisfaction Index (Sacsi). This comes off the back of one of the most trying years in human history, where banks earned significant goodwill by stepping up and acting with empathy. Gerrie Fourie, CEO of Capitec, says that the pandemic prompted people to reassess their priorities. Capitec prioritised being a partner in this process, enabling clients to bank better to live better through payment relief and digital innovations.
Fourie says the bank has been doing everything it can to support its clients through this difficult time, “We knew we needed to respond with care the instant the pandemic hit. From March onwards, we implemented several initiatives to support our staff and clients. The Sacsi results mean a huge amount to us and we would like to thank our clients for their ongoing trust and support.”
Sacsi notes the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns accelerated digital adoption and reliance on self-service channels. Clients expected multi-channel experiences and exceptional customer service, especially given the emotional toll of sustained financial pressure. Capitec was well-positioned to deliver, which meant it was the only bank to grow its market share last year, making it the country’s biggest and fastest growing digital bank.
Fourie says that going forwards, digital innovation will continue to be core to the bank’s DNA, “South Africans are understandably worried about the future of this country, economy and their financial prospects. I believe in order for people to take control of their lives, their financial positions need to be simple and transparent enough for them to understand and manage.
“Technology is a big part of our strategy to best serve our clients now and in the future. Technologies such as AI, backed by good quality data, enable us to create tailored, user-friendly self-help solutions that prompt good financial decision-making, as well as better risk assessments and incentives for our clients. Taking this direction is vital for our clients’ future wellbeing, especially considering that 51% of them are under-35s who are very comfortable with technology.”
Sacsi polled close to 12 500 customers from the lower, middle and upper-retail banking segments for its results. Capitec emerged as the leader with an overall customer satisfaction score of 84.7 – up 7% from last year. It also led the sector in terms of ‘customer expectations and perceived quality’ and in terms of ‘perceived value’ – beating out the lowest scores by 13 index points. It received the lowest complaints incidence and a high complaint resolution rate. It also came first for customer loyalty, with 76.7%.
Fourie adds that the bank’s long-term vision of how it treats its clients and staff is rooted in its founding principles of simplicity, affordability, accessibility, personalisation and transparency. “We’ve bolstered our offering over the last year to attract an even wider range of clients across various income groups. New innovations include a free virtual card and the EasyEquities offering on our app, which allows for seamless share investing in local and overseas markets.”
He concludes that he hopes that together, South Africa can emerge from the pandemic stronger, “We need to emerge from this in a way that brings positive change. We need to pursue rescuing the economy with single-minded focus. Our institutions will have a very important role to play in this recovery.
“The World Happiness Index shows that the happiest countries have a high level of trust in their major institutions to lead them out of the crisis. This is partly why the Sacsi finding means so much to us. We take our leadership role very seriously and will continue to play our part to kick-start the economy and empower individuals to build wealth for the long-term.”