First National Bank (FNB) and Capitec have tied for the title of South Africa’s best digital bank in research agency Columinate | Insight Consulting’s latest SITEisfaction survey.

The survey is an annual measure of customer satisfaction with digital banking services in South Africa, and rates each banking institution with a score from -100 (worst possible experience) to +100 (best possible experience). This is measured for both Internet banking via a Web browser and smartphone app banking.

Columinate surveyed a “representative sample” of Internet banking users from the five main South African consumer banks.

Capitec and FNB tied in the 2019 report, a score of 79 each. These two banks have consistently been rated either first or second in the eight years that the survey has been running.

“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,” said Columinate managing partner Henk Pretorius.

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

In the mobile banking category, which focuses exclusively on the banks’ smartphone applications, Capitec was the winner, despite falling from a score of 84 in 2018 to 82 this year. FNB moved from 84 in 2018 to 81 in 2019, while Nedbank shed a single point, moving from 69 to 68. Standard Bank suffered the “greatest consumer backlash”, its score dropping from 74 to 59, the Columinate survey found. Absa is the only bank that managed to gain some ground in the category, growing from 59 to 62.

While making payments to a beneficiary (73%) and transferring funds between accounts (72%) are still the most popular functions of the apps, there is a marked increase in non-traditional services, with 69% of mobile banking app users purchasing airtime, 59% data bundles and 47% prepaid electricity.

Reworked from Tech Central.