Capitec pulls ahead to be South Africa’s top bank

Capitec Bank - [Google Images]

The Publisher Research Council (PRC) and market research firm Nielsen have launched a Publisher Audience Measure Survey (PAMS) which measures trends and data of readers of around 150 newspapers, magazines and websites in South Africa.

The PAMS was launched with the aim to better understand South Africa’s media-consuming audience, with a focus on publications – both physical and digital – which is not covered in great detail in the All Media and Products Survey (AMPS).

The inaugural report covered in-depth survey responses from close to 18,000 people.

As part of the survey, the researchers also delve into other metrics around internet access and brands – including motoring, financial institutions and retail brands.

One of the stand-out metrics to come from the report shows how Capitec has pulled away from South Africa’s other big four banks in terms of market penetration.

According to the PAMS, the bank has a 23% penetration rate, compared to its closest competitor, Absa, at 13%.×226.png 300w,×579.png 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 709px) 85vw, (max-width: 909px) 67vw, (max-width: 1362px) 62vw, 840px” style=”height: auto; margin: 1em auto; display: block; max-width: 100%; backface-visibility: hidden;”>

The PAMS data represents a publisher-consumer audience (both physical and digital) of over 22.5 million people – however it also reflects the self-reported numbers by South Africa’s local banks, which currently places Capitec as the second largest bank in the country by retail customers.

At its latest reporting, the Capitec noted a client base exceeding 10 million customers, putting it ahead of Absa (8.75 million) and chasing Standard Bank (around 11 million). Capitec reports adding over 100,000 new customers a month.

Battle for the unbanked

Aside from Capitec’s major lead, the PAMS data also reveals that a large chunk of South Africans remain unbanked.

This group has gained the attention of not only South Africa’s incumbent banks, but also new entrants, who are preparing to launch digital-only (mobile) solutions to try and capture this market.

On Wednesday, FNB announced that it would be launching the next evolution of its mobile eWallet, which will become a fully mobile bank account carrying no monthly fees.

The bank said that it was leveraging a first-mover advantage on top of its established mobile product to try and bring banking to the lower LSM markets.

According to FNB CEO, Jacques Celliers, over 1 million FNB customers already use the eWallet as their primary bank account.

New entrants targeting this market include Tyme Digital and Bank Zero.