Digital banking gaining ground in SA’s middle class market

Johannesburg – Digital banking channels are gaining traction among the middle class in South Africa, along with a need for personalised banking solutions instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. These are some of the key findings from research conducted by FNB among its Premier clients who earn between R350, 000 and R750, 000 before tax.

Lynette Kloppers, CEO of FNB Premier, says “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. 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; 76% of them are married and 52% have children that are financially dependent on them. Retirement planning also takes centre stage, a majority of the respondents said they would like to retire comfortably.

The findings of the survey 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. Despite having a propensity to spend on leisure, this group is equally aware of the need to curb over indebtedness through saving.

“The outcomes of the research point to the fact that consumers need banking products that are suited to their lifestyles. As a bank we have decided to take a multi-dimensional approach to banking our clients, by ensuring that as their lives change we are able to match this with suitable banking solutions,”

The insights collated from the research helped FNB come to the realisation that clients need more than just banking – they need a trusted money manager who will be there for them anytime, anyplace, anywhere. FNB has enhanced its service model to suit the needs its clients.

“Consumers are pressed for time and have a preference for D-I-Y transacting such as using the FNB Banking App. The team of Premier Bankers is also available 24/7 through email and phone call to assist clients whenever they need help.  Premier also provides a range of Specialists who can assist clients with advice on their financial planning and even the booking of local and overseas travel”,

“The next step for us was to create a value proposition that consists of day-to-day banking solutions that are anchored our bolstering offer for everyday transactional needs. Clients earn eBucks based on their product and transactional behaviour that they can use to buy anything from prepaid electricity and airtime to Apple devices and travel expenses.

“The value proposition also offers clients various money management solutions like credit when needed, asset protection, and short and long term investments to cater for all aspects of our clients’ financial lives,” adds Kloppers