Capitec says its dedicated banking app will be coming near the end of its current financial year (February 2014), and will be designed to run on both smart and feature phones.
This follows the recent launch of Absa‘s banking app on 10 April 2013 – the last of South Africa’s so-called “big banks” out the door with a dedicated mobile application.
However, Capitec told BusinessTech that it does not feel pressured by the competition to released a specialised banking app for smartphones, indicating further that its digital plans differ from those of its competitors.
According to Capitec head of communications, Charl Nel, the bank’s strategy from the outset was to enable banking functionality – which will include an app – that will be available on smartphones, as well as feature phones.
According to Nel, Capitec will be launching its app towards the end of its current financial year, and the market can expect to see regular enhancements as the bank adds more functionality over time and as client usage of smartphones increases.
“It is however important to note that the new app will not be replacing our current Mobile Banking offering (which works on feature phones and smartphones) until such time that the vast majority of our clients use only smartphones,” Nel said.
“Capitec recognises the importance of enabling our clients to do remote banking that is appropriate to their lifestyle and type of cellphone they own,” Nel said.
“The adoption of our existing Mobile Banking offering – which is accessible to all of our clients regardless whether they have a smart phone or not – bears testament to this.”
“What is of paramount importance to us is that we offer our clients a secure and user-friendly remote banking service that is accessible to the vast majority of the market,” he said.
In its financial reporting on 27 March 2013, Capitec underlined growth in its active clients to 4.7 million – up 26%, with 971,000 new clients over the past year.
While Capitec’s clients are largely in the middle- to low-income bracket, according its most recent reporting, the bank has seen large growth in its high-income client base.
Nel noted that the growth in higher-income clients was as a result of an integrated strategy at the bank, and that the bank’s digital strategy is a key focus area.
According to Capitec, increasing the accessibility of Internet and mobile banking, through enhancing the cost effectiveness of the channels, forms part of its long-term strategy.
“However, it (digital strategy) is not an exclusive approach,” Nel said.