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Digital banking gains ground in South Africa’s middle class market

Digital banking channels are gaining ground among the middle class in South Africa, along with a need for personalised banking solutions instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, reports from South Africa said last week.

This is the finding from a research conducted by First National Bank (FNB) among its ‘Premier’ clients who are said to earn between R350 000 (about US$23 000) and R750 000 (US$46 000) before tax.

FNB is one of the South Africa’s largest banks alongside ABSA, Standard Bank, Nedbank.

“Traditional methods of banking as we know them are fast evolving. While banks have the banking expertise, clients are setting the pace and we follow them quite closely to ensure we understand their needs,” Lynette Kloppers, CEO of FNB Premier, said in a statement.

“Consumers now require services that are available around the clock and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. About 78% of those surveyed said they preferred conducting banking via online platforms because it’s convenient and easy to access”.
Family is very important to this group, the report said, adding that 76% of them are married and 52% have children that are financially dependent on them.

Retirement planning also takes centre stage, as a majority of the respondents said they would like to retire comfortably.

The bank, which also operates in several African countries, said the survey’s findings point to very specific developing trends, such as the need for a bank that takes the future needs of the client into consideration.

Beyond future plans there are notable lifestyle preferences that are important for this market; these include local family holidays, overseas trips and dining out, the report said.

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