Capitec goes after Discovery with its own ‘behavioural banking’ model in South Africa

Capitec has seen significant early success with its new ‘Live Better’ programme, a behavioural banking initiative with an automated savings benefit, says chief executive Gerrie Fourie.

“The Live Better Savings account is a new feature available for free to all Capitec clients. It differs from their other savings plans because clients don’t transfer or deposit money into Live Better Savings,” he said.

“Rather it grows automatically through a range of smart, easy-to-run savings tools and cashback benefits from selected partners. In addition to a higher interest rate, it has no fees and money in the account can be transferred to a client’s main transactional account at any time.”

Initially launched in July 2021, the programme already has 2.2 million active clients and R55.6 million in savings to date.

The bank has also partnered with Dis-Chem, Shell, Educate24, GetSmarter, Hello Doctor, JOOX, Rentalcars.com, and Travelstart to offer rewards through the programme.

Speaking to BusinessTech, Fourie acknowledged the comparisons to Discovery’s own behavioural banking initiative but noted that Capitec is much more focused on transparency with no obfuscation around ‘points’, additional fees or service charges.

Fourie said that Live Better also does not have tiers separating customers.

“Where we are different, is that we are clear that when you do this (action), you get this reward. It’s not complex and there are no risks that people don’t understand the rewards they receive.

“Our 16.7 million client base is very strong and we plan to leverage that. But it’s important that all people are equal and get the same things back.”

Fourie said that Capitec’s new system was also not limited to saving money and that the bank is actively pushing clients to make other behavioural changes such as moving from cash to card and moving from bank branches to digital services.

Capitec also plans to link this behavioural banking system into its business accounts, with the rebranding of Mercantile Bank to Capitec set to take place at the end of 2022, he said.


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Capitec goes after Discovery with its own ‘behavioural banking’ model in South Africa