79% of internet banking users in SA buy mobile airtime online

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What do you think of your current bank’s online facilities? FNB and Standard Bank both redesigned their websites in the last year, and according to a recent survey that spanned more than 5 000 participants, people love them for it.

The survey was conducted by research firm Columinate and asked users to rank their current bank on a number of topics, options and functionalities – and the results may be a bit of a surprise.

FNB was the first of the major banks to give its website an overhaul, and while users initially berated the change, the survey’s results suggest that they eventually got used to the re-design to the point where they now love it.

Both banks ranked first and second (respectively) in popularity in the survey, with Standard Bank earning the accomplishment of being the fastest riser in this year’s survey.

“The success of both FNB and Standard Bank relate to recent significant redesigns of their internet banking facilities. Last year FNB lost its top position to Capitec after making changes to the banking website. There was a noticeable slump in users’ experience, because the changes meant experienced users suddenly had to search for features they used frequently. This adjustment period seems to have passed after more than a year on the new system, and users’ opinions have put them back at number one,” said Chief Executive of Columinate, Dr Henk Pretorius.

Pretorius explained that by re-designing their website, Standard bank managed to impress its users with a simpler re-design, which allowed them to reach the number two spot.

“Standard Bank’s revamp of its site happened much more recently, and their focus on ease of use, and retaining a similar architecture as before, has meant that its users had to make less of an adjustment,” Pretorius said.

And that is one of the biggest factors that was clear from the internet bank survey, as ease of use ranked as one of the highest priorities for those who chose to transact online – and the more devices that people can use, the better.

The survey revealed that the most popular combination for banking online was with a computer and mobile phone (38%), while computer, mobile phone and tablet (30%) ranked the most popular, and banking on a computer only (24%) only made up a small portion.

“It is incredible to see how far we’ve progressed away from basic banking only on these platforms. Many of the new features added to internet banking facilities have nothing to do with traditional transactional banking,” Pretorius said.

And what people do while accessing online banking facilities might also come as a surprise.

Among FNB customers, the second most popular activity to online through its banking portal is buying mobile airtime (79%), while 69% of survey respondents buy mobile data.

“Coupled with the increase in device used, it is clear that the theme of more ways to do more things has strengthened since last year,” he commented.

Speaking of mobile banking, satisfaction with the respective banks’ apps also ranked fairly high. FNB managed to retain the top spot with a score of 77 out of a 100, with Capitec in second place (71), Standard Bank in third (68).

“It is interesting that the top three places in mobile and tablet banking are again taken up by the same banks, with FNB still on top. For ABSA and Nedbank they also retain the last two positions. Collectively, this shows how a comprehensive digital strategy should account for access across all devices, especially considering how mobile and tablet access is increasing,” Pretorius said.

In terms of overall satisfaction with online banking, which was the over-arching theme of the survey, the top three positions shifted slightly compared to last year.

FNB matched the highest ever score in this survey of 75 out of 100, while Standard Bank managed to creep into second place with a score of 66. Capitec (62) fell into third position, with Nedbank (50) and ABSA (39) making up the last two position.

If you want a better look at the results of the survey, just have a look at the neat infographic below:

Internet Banking Infographic

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.