Capitec will launch a number of new features in the coming months as part of the bank’s increasing drive towards digitalisation, says chief executive Gerrie Fourie.
Fourie said that that Covid-19 pandemic ‘did not steer the bank off course’ and its management team remained highly focused on building a bank for the future.
This includes a focus on remote onboarding and banking, with the coronavirus pandemic showing a clear push by Capitec’s customers towards digital, he said.
Some of the key changes include:
- The launch of virtual cards;
- The ability to apply for credit remotely in a couple of simple steps;
- The option to open an account or sign a document using facial biometrics, which is verified in real-time against the Department of Home Affairs database;
- A new partnership with Easy Equities which will allow customers to invest directly in shares through the Capitec app.
Singling out the new Easy Equities partnership, Fourie said that Capitec hopes to launch this functionality by mid-October. He said that customers will be able to buy shares directly through Easy Equities at a discounted rate.
While Capitec has historically focused on the lower-income market, Fourie said that he sees this new partnership as more of a ‘value-add’ for clients.
He said that lower-income people normally don’t invest into equities, however, there is clear interested amongst the bank’s younger clients.
Results published on Wednesday (30 September) showed an increase of 24% in digital banking clients, since August 2019, which now amounts to 7.3 million clients, making Capitec South Africa’s largest digital bank.
Capitec said that accelerated adoption was driven by clients’ need to stay safe and bank from home, while benefitting from lower transaction fees and zero-rated data charges on the app. Consequently, app, internet and USSD transactions collectively grew by 52% to 556 million in the past six months.
Fourie said that the lockdown has significantly increased the importance of digital banking, helping to drive its adoption.
“The lockdown has accelerated South Africa’s shift towards a digital economy and consumers are now more than ever looking for client-centric digital banking that puts them in control of their finances.
“Our active app clients have grown 38% to over 4 million and our new app is the most downloaded app on all major South African app stores.”
Fourie said he was also excited about the growth of digital payments where cards are not present as the bank looks to expand into e-commerce and the digital payment space which it considers the future.
“The one that excites me is card-not-present. That’s the future of payments, where you pay with QR [codes], etc,” he said.
“We strongly believe in e-commerce and digital banking, the payment space. How do you make it seamless? Paying with QR-codes. That’s a very big focus for us. Making certain the business experience of our merchants is slick.”
He added that about 1 million clients made 4 million transactions this way in the reporting period. This has partly been spurred on by the shift to digital because of the national lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic.