Traditional banks in the South African banking sector, such as Absa, FirstRand, Nedbank, and Standard Bank were among the first to react to digital transformation. Challenged by the emergence of smaller players in the field, bringing about a transformational approach to the banking service, the four global banks were urged to pursue agile transformation programmes with an enterprise-wide impact on cost and operational efficiency in order to improve investor experience and maintain their position in the market.

However, while not all digital banks deliver on their initial promise, even market leaders are far from having a smooth path forward although they serve a sizeable market segment. Without innovation, they perish.

So what has changed or is changing to disrupt the traditional South African banking model

Mobile Banking

Mobile banking users are set to reach 2 Billion by 2020! Most banking apps continue to create simplified solutions for users at the palm of their hand. Payments, loan applications, credit checks, spend tracking are just some of the current features users can enjoy currently. These and other offerings will keep evolving and quite simply put, the one with the best app wins

Mobile Payments

Mobile payments have become a ‘normal’ part of retail across the board. Snapscan, Apple pay, Flickpay, Zapper and VC Pay are just a few of the options currently available for mobile app payments that are integrated with the backend of most banks. It is that convenience that more and more users are gravitating towards.

Blockchain

Blockchain will continue proving to be a huge asset in digital payments, escrow services, loan processing, and just about every other area where valuable information or currency needs the utmost security.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Using advanced software and algorithms, AI bots can calculate the best investment opportunities, interest rates, credit scores, loan providers and more helping users be on top of their investment prospects. To remain competitive in this space in the industry, banks are digitizing and automating such processes.

Job functions

Jobs are moving from repetition to more strategic roles that require critical thinking and/ or the creative engagement of a human. The jobs that however require repetitive tasks will most likely be eliminated. Customer support roles, data entry roles, data verification roles and many back office functions will likely become redundant.

 

On the upside, the digital wave has created new roles and functions. Banking is highly regulated and not everything can be automated. Some employees may require upskilling to fit these new roles. The re-skilling challenge is greater than we have ever seen in history and is approaching faster than any in the past. There is a need to assess each organization’s current talent pool, processes and determine what skills exist and what new skills will be required.

  

Digital banks to look out for

Digital Banking by definition, is part of the broader context for the move to online banking, where banking services are delivered over the internet. It provides the ability for users to access financial data through desktop, mobile and ATM services. A few banks have already emerged as players in this new space in South Africa to compete with the traditional big four banks.

These are;

  1. Tyme Bank
  2. Discovery Bank
  3. Bank Zero

On the payment side, more digital payment merchants are emerging daily. Some of these are;

  1. Centbee
  2. Snapscan
  3. Zapper

In conclusion, the fourth industrial revolution is here and in play. Employees might have to look at upskilling to meet new role requirements. The end-user has to look for the right service offering that meets their needs. Banks have to adjust their product offerings to compete and serve their clientele better as well as work with reputable tech firms to substantiate their digital transformation.

At TNG solutions we are a digital transformation consultancy, custom software development, cloud solutions and IT Project management company that provides cutting edge IT solutions. Helping enterprise and start up clients untangle complex issues that always emerge during their digital evolution journey. Contact us for a free consultation session.