10 things South Africans says will make them switch banks

South African banking customers are extremely price-sensitive, and won’t hesitate to jump banks if their current financial services provider stops offering competitive pricing.

This is one of the main findings of the Accenture Perpetual Innovation banking report, which is a global survey of banking customers and their needs – including those in South Africa.

The survey polled over 47,000 banking customers, including 2,000 from South Africa, to determine what their banking needs are, and whether they are being met by local providers.

“Our research shows that South African consumers are ready for digital financial services. Understanding and meeting their needs will help financial service organisations position for digital-era success.

“Right now, South African financial services incumbents hold a number of aces: in addition to established relationships they enjoy a significant trust advantage over new entrants. But these advantages may be short-lived. Organisations must act now to reposition themselves before their hard-earned advantages erode,” Accenture said.

The group noted that South African financial services customers want value for money, tailored offerings, richer digital experiences and consistency across channels – but topping the list is price.

“South African consumers are very cost-conscious. When asked what would make them leave their bank or insurer, more cited cost than any other factor,” Accenture said.

This was followed by security risks and concerns, and poor customer services.

In these areas, South African banking and insurance clients are more demanding than the global average – also in seeking to be valued as a customer, having the right products and having access to the latest digital services.

Where would they go?

Recent research published by BrandsEye showed where banking customers would most likely go, should they follow through on threats to close their account.

Among the country’s big five banks (Capitec, Standard Bank, FNB, Nedbank and Absa), FNB and Capitec are the banks most likely to gain from unhappy customers, with the two banks being listed as the ones to join from those threatening to leave Nedbank, Standard Bank and Absa.

Dissatisfied FNB customers, meanwhile, are most likely to jump to Capitec – while unhappy Capitec customers are most likely to jump to FNB.

BrandsEye’s research also gauges what is currently driving unhappiness among banking customers in South Africa.

According to the group, consumers demand speedy service from their banks. Delivering on the basics, rather than innovation, is a priority for consumers.

Turnaround time is the most cited issue by consumers who threatened to leave their banks. FNB had the highest share of cancellation conversation across all major themes.

“This is likely due to the bank’s relatively higher share of voice,” the group said.

“Despite having a low share of voice, Standard Bank contributed significantly to threats of cancellation due to turnaround time and brand comparisons.”

Capitec’s short turnaround time and low overall churn risk suggest that by delivering on the basics, the bank has managed to maintain the lowest churn rate.

Banking customers are also doing more research, BrandsEye said, with brand comparisons on products and services, as well as crowdsourcing data from other banking customers driving their decisions on where to bank.

Read: Why South Africans are closing their bank accounts – and where they’re going instead

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10 things South Africans says will make them switch banks