Who Are the Most Innovative Banks in South Africa?

Mar 07, 2016
Author: Ean Barnard

Innovation in a radically changing banking landscape is shaping the financial ways of our futures. At present, change is the only constant in the global banking industry. Thanks to innovative banks in South Africa, we can enjoy a healthy range of new financial products and services. These products don’t only help us to advance our financial managerial skills, but they make us more aware of the importance of monthly savings and investing to cater for our future needs. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the technological advances within the banking industry and what has changed in how we go about our daily financial matters.

What has changed and what can we expect in the future?

With the dawn of 2016, we surely can’t complain about the innovative status of our banking industry. Yes, our economy might be in a rut – but we can’t criticize the rate of positive change in our banking industry. Traditional retail banking, electronic banking and personal banking are currently measured to be the most important market segments, with intense competition being experienced in these areas. Innovative banks in South Africa believe a fundamental change in strategy and positioning is required to compete aggressively in this segment.

“True innovation is coming up with products that customers didn’t even know they needed”

Going forward, we can expect to see partnerships between banks and non-financial institutions. As retailers and telecom companies are expected to become more prevalent, banks aim to broaden their distribution to reach unbanked populations in South Africa. We’ve already seen some result of intense competition in the banking industry, thus, banks are left with two options: Compete aggressively or form partnerships.

Who are the Trendsetters?

By turning everyday lenders into investors, and leaving borrowers with less expensive loans, we celebrate the likes of Rainfin and Lendico, two very innovative financial institutions up-ending the online marketplace lending industry in South Africa. Use a smartphone and you’ve probably come across Snapscan, a revolutionary payment service acquired by Standard Bank. It’s likely you’ve also come across Zapper, another mobile payment and retail point of sale solution. Have you googled anything on budgeting and investing in South Africa as of late? If you do, you’re likely to discover 22Seven, an Old Mutual owned money management application and financial tool available to you for free, so if you’re struggling with budgeting, take a look. Additionally, we all know FNB to be a very witty and creative bank in South Africa. The question is, what’s the latest? They’ve launched their own mobile network called FNB Connect and they’ve updated their digital banking to the next level. ABSA has launched an online tool called ReadyToWork, helping young people in our country with people, work, money, and entrepreneurial skills as the set out to find employment or to create self-employment. Whether you’re looking for investing tools or all you want is simplicity, the new products and services from innovative banks in South Africa are endless - how ‘bout them apples!

The Bottom Line

How funny to think that in a country with sluggish economic growth, our financial sector remains one of the world’s most sophisticated. We’ve got the innovative banks in South Africa and micro institutions to thank for that. So there’s a cloud with a silver lining for you. Do your part in discovering these new products and services for yourself, as they’ve got some really valuable information and tools that can take your financial skills to the next level!

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