Cape Town - Capitec Bank [JSE:CPI] has admitted to Fin24 that even being voted the best bank in the world means nothing to a disappointed client. This after clients were left frustrated because the bank was hit by downtime over the weekend.
Capitec had system issues on Saturday which affected clients in several ways, head of marketing and communications Charl Nel told Fin24.
"Our card swiping and ATM functions were affected for short periods during Saturday (less than an hour in total) but our branch network and remote channels were affected for longer periods during the day, which obviously had a disruptive impact on our clients who needed to make remote payments or visit a branch," he explained.
Smaka Dima was one of the bank's clients who couldn't access her money. She made a passionate plea to Capitec in a mail to Fin24: "Please sort this problem out because we love this bank."
She wrote: "I went to withdraw at Capitec in Meadowlands and it was offline. I went inside to Pick n Pay and they were still offline. Westgate Kagiso was also offline."
On top of this issue, Nel said Capitec's prepaid airtime vendor MTN also had connectivity problems on Sunday.
Fin24 user Sebastian De Villiers was annoyed by this issue. "It reflects that I paid for it but there is no airtime on the devices. This is such a huge frustration."
Nel said while clients for all other networks could purchase airtime, MTN clients experienced connectivity issues. This issue was resolved late on Sunday evening and all transactions were processed through the night, he said.
"Although we have since processed the majority of the backlogged transactions, there are still roughly 11 000 outstanding transfers that will be processed tonight."
The bank apologised to clients that had to endure these disruptions.
"We are humbled by this incident and realise that even being voted the best bank in the world does not mean anything to a client that was not able to do a transaction when needed."
However, at least one client, who also experienced a problem with Capitec, pledged his support for the bank. Fin24 user Andre van Romburgh pointed out that any bank can have systems issues.
"I will still bank with Capitec... Capitec still have the best service," he said.
Although Capitec could not assure clients that would be able to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, the bank said it is committed to doing everything possible to mitigate this from occurring.
"We apologise once again, we will make it our mission to regain the trust of those we have inconvenienced by ensuring we put the right measures in place," Nel added.
Capitec said in September that 648 000 new clients joined the bank in the six months to end-August. According to Solidarity's 2016 Bank Charges Report, Capitec was described as generally the cheapest bank for the needs of most people, despite strong competition from other banks.
Shares in Capitec was up 1.63% higher at R685 at the close of markets on Monday.