"Treat us like you need our business" was among telling trends from clients about their banks. Others asked for a return to good old one-on-one service; the slashing of excessively high bank fees and high-tech to be tempered by high touch. So reveals The Speak UP Report, an insights study that asked South Africans to help reimage banking and aims to draw attention to what people want from their bank and ultimately help give them what they really need.
Insights are based on 725 responses received from a cross-section of South Africans between 30 January and 13 February 2012 via four channels: an online survey; Facebook; crowd-sourcing platform Evly and consumer and opinion former voxpops.
While Speak UP was commissioned by Capitec, views are of an independent nature and do not necessarily reflect those of the bank’s.
We trust banks, but want respect in return
Speak UP revealed that among South Africans surveyed online, 76 percent said they trust their bank. They are also pretty loyal (and forgiving) as they won’t switch banks — despite being frustrated with high fees and tricky literature (46 percent).
This could have to do with the fact that 43 percent also said they’d welcome an industry standard menu of fees as it’s impossible to compare like with like among the banks while 37 percent said they’d tried, but gave up as it took up too much time — something the 15 percent who said they are currently looking for a new bank agree with.
According to business educator Dave Duarte, this double-standard is common.
"The bank is always available when they want you to sign up for an account but, once you have an account, you have to wait in line or they’re not available to help you. They can get hold of you anytime they need to, but the same rules don’t apply on the other side."
Why we (have to) bank
When asked why they bank 52.55 percent said "because it keeps my money safe and secure". Only eight percent said it’s to keep control of their spending.
Yet while the perceived role of a bank is to protect a client’s cash, a similar amount of respondents (50 percent) think their bank makes them pay for keeping it while 24 percent said banking is tailored to their bank’s needs; not theirs.
A further 47 percent were blunt and said their bank was milking them.
"Banking is the necessary evil of earning money. It is a system that has been designed that way," says CherryFlava’s Jonathon Cherry. In fact, if he was his bank’s manager for the day, Cherry said he would go out of his way to help clients understand what makes banking so difficult, and why it is necessary. He believes by doing this "it would be good protection for the client and the bank."
Article continues on page two and three: Please Pravin, slash banking fees; High tech, but with a human touch; Kiddie entertainment and queue-busters, especially for granny; speak to me in Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Sotho, etc; Can-Can girls and candy floss…