The best bank for your buck?

We’ve all been there – Standing in line at a bank, waiting. Waiting to live, waiting to die – waiting for an absolution that will take the entire lunch hour to arrive. Banks can be frustrating at the best of times. But occasionally we get exceptional service and are left in awe. So which bank is rated the best in South Africa.

The South African customer service index (SAcsi) is an independent national benchmark of customer satisfaction of the quality of products and services available to household consumers. Banks are one such service, and every year South African banks are rated for the quality of their product and service against the previous year.

The last few years have been particularly progressive for the South African banking system. The rise of Capitec and its competitive prices and innovative banking solutions from FNB, have seen other banks scramble to try and keep up.

SAcsi measures banks by their channels and their products. ATMs, branches, cellphone banking, Internet banking, banking apps and contact centres all form part of the channels, while services such as credit cards, home loans, personal loans and vehicle finance are also monitored. Each is scored out of a possible hundred which then turned into a percentage. And here’s what the last year’s banking channel results look like.

ATMs – It turns out that South Africans are not overly fussy when it comes to ATMs. As long as they have access to one (of any bank), then they’re happy. There was no discernable difference between banks.

Branches – Capitec was a clear leader here. Its customers gave Capitec branches a satisfaction score of 81.2, 7.9% higher than the industry average. Interestingly, the other banks didn’t show any significant difference between each other. It must be their pretty layouts and fast service.

Cellphone banking – FNB leads the cellphone banking sphere with a score that is 4.7% higher than industry average.

Online banking – eBucks appear to be destroying the competition here as FNB leads the industry for online banking satisfaction with consumers rating FNB 7.0% above industry average. Nedbank is on par with the industry, while the other banks lag under the average. Debit order systems are also taken into consideration.

Banking apps – Apps which put banking capabilities in the hands of the consumers are still a relatively new innovation in SA. Regardless, FNB (+6.8%) and Nedbank (+4.3%) take the lead here, while Standard Bank is on par with industry average and Absa brings up the final spot, 4.3% below the industry average. Capitec is still trying to work out what a cellphone is and how to use it (They don’t offer a banking app).

Contact centres – Contact centres have been a long-standing service to support customers with bank-related queries. Awkwardly though, no single bank can boast a high satisfaction rating.

What’s abundantly clear from this is that there’s room for improvement. In a time where instant gratification is everything, banks need to catch up. Waiting in a bank queue? Ain’t nobody got time for dat anymore.