Capitec targets smartphones next

Capitec Bank says its next phase of development will target smartphone users, but stands by its “bottom-up” approach to providing mobile banking functionality to its clients.

In recent months, all major South African banks have made head-way in playing catch-up to FNB in the mobile banking sector, with the release – or planned release – of a mobile banking app.

Silently missing from the equation, Capitec told BusinessTech in March that the “jury is still out” on whether the bank would venture into similar territory.

It would seem the jury has come in with a verdict:

“Our next phase of development will be to target the market with smartphones and their additional functionality,” Capitec told BusinessTech. “This could be done by either an app, or a very functional and user-friendly mobile site – or both. We will use the option that is the easiest for the normal man or woman on the street.”

Capitec noted that it has seen a massive take-up of mobile banking which, it quipped, happened “without making any marketing noise about it”.

“We do not foresee this will change,” Capitec said.

The bottom-up approach

The financial institution pointed out that its approach to mobile banking has always differed from the other major South African banks.

“Where the traditional banks went from the top down by providing an app to their clients with smartphones, we approached it from the other side, and first launched a USSD platform that will work on any cellphone in the market.”

Capitec reported that its USSD-based mobile services had been well-received due to the system’s simplicity and any-phone accessibility.

“Capitec Bank sees mobile banking as an access mechanism – nothing more nothing less. So it’s not packaged as an “extra” product/service like some banks do and charge extra for,” Capitec said.

“Mobile banking and Internet banking are both included in our single R4,50 monthly fee.”

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Capitec targets smartphones next