Digital has been rising up the executive agenda in South Africa’s financial services industry over the past decade. It has been the major driving force behind tremendous changes across the industry, allowing innovation and healthy competition to flourish.
Digital adoption has picked up across the board, with notable innovative moves from both incumbents and new entrants. Prompted by emerging technology, greater competition, and increased customer expectations, customers can now enjoy benefits such as opening a bank account in minutes, executing simple transactions using WhatsApp, or conveniently completing cash handling services through their local grocery stores. Digitalization has also improved financial inclusion by lowering barriers to access through the emergence of low/zero cost banking, with new neo-banks operating on lean cost models supported by superior next generation technology.
Digitalization has resulted in the creation of great value in the financial services industry in South Africa. However, there is still a lot more juice to be squeezed.
While the seven opportunities outlined in this report help sketch the path that financial services players can take to generate more value out of digital, the future is constantly changing.
Being digital is not a destination, it’s an ongoing journey.
Beyond cyber risks, the South African financial services industry will have to manage massive internal transformational change to overcome the hurdles of legacy technology and outdated business models.