These Are South Africa’s Favorite Banks

Capitec and FNB are the most popular banks for low- and middle-income South Africans, respectively.

According to the African Bank Consumer Research Report on the low- and middle-income market, Capitec is the most popular main bank for most South Africans, with 38%-58% of respondents across most cross-segments and subsegments citing them as their main bank.

However, FNB is the most popular bank for middle-class adults, with its 34% share beating Capitec’s 25%.

The report said that there was a clear income trend when it comes to the main banks, with lower-income respondents more likely to prefer Capitec compared to higher-income respondents, with FNB’s share growing as income increases.

FNB, Absa and Standard Bank have a larger proportion of South Africans that earn more than R10,000 compared to lower income brackets.

The main bank across Adult segments are below:

Brand nameNo IncomeEntry LevelLow incomeLow MiddleMiddle
Standard Bank8%8%12%9%13%

According to the report, trust is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a main bank, regardless of income level.

There are interesting contrasts between banks, with ABSA and FNB clients saying that rewards were important, while costs were stressed by Capitec and Tyme Bank customers.

According to the report, young students often look for banks with good digital banking more so than the ‘general youth’.

For adults, higher-income associates with higher levels of agreement on the importance of good digital banking, innovation, having a good rewards programme and being able to
access credit/loans.

The reasons for choosing a main bank are listed below (click on the image to enlarge):

The youth were the least likely to recommend Capitec, with only 31% extremely likely to recommend the bank, found the report.

Absa and Nedbank scored the lowest amount among adults when it comes to recommending a bank (35-37%), with seniors also giving Nedbank their lowest score (17%).

Capitec and Nedbank youth customers were the most likely to look for a new main bank.

Capitec, on the other hand, was the worst-performing bank when it came to adults considering changing banks.

When it comes to finding a new bank, the most popular reason given across segments was a bank that “offers the most competitive and transparent fees.”

The second main reason regards the location of branches and ATMs, which is then followed by elements in relation to trust and savings/investment.

South Africa’s banking numbers

Most of the respondents in the survey use banks, with 90% of youth, 99% of adults and 94% of seniors having an account.

Even 97% of South Africans who are currently earning no income have a bank account.

When it comes to Youth who have no bank account, the main reason cited is a lack of income or that bank fees are too high. However, for kids and teens the main reason is an absence of ID.

Kids and teens that currently are not part of a bank said that they intend to get one in the future, with saving (88%) and learning how to manage money (76%) given as key reasons.

Unbanked adult respondents mostly said that bank fees are too expensive or that they use money transfer services instead.

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