FNB rated SA’s ‘top internet banking provider’

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Johannesburg - First National Bank (FNB) has come out tops regarding its internet banking offering, according to a local survey.

Online marketing research agency Columinate on Thursday unveiled its fourth annual ‘Internet Banking SITEisfaction’ survey.

The survey measures a multitude of factors regarding online banking offerings such as ease of use, trust, communication and assurance, information and functional quality, reasonable banking fees, innovation, device flexibility and interruption levels.

Statistics released by Columinate also say that of the 25 million banked South Africans, around 14 million have internet access and just 2.3 million use internet banking services.

And the Couminate survey uses sample sizes per year of over 1 300 people. The sample comes from a match to the internet banking population, and they also reflect the relative sizes of each bank’s online customer base. The sample sizes for all banks are a minimum of 250.

“FNB has gone slightly up and down over the last couple of years,” said the chief executive of Columinate, Dr. Henk Pretorius.

"They had a 75 score two years ago, people were very satisfied with the highest score ever achieved in online banking, and after they did the redesign they dropped significantly to 69 (in 2014) and what happened was these guys actually overtook them, Capitec at 71,” he added.

Standard Bank has this year’s second highest satisfaction rating of 66, rising 10 points from last year.

Capitec (62) has fallen into third position, while Nedbank (50) and Absa (39) retain their status in the lowest positions for the fourth year running.

Pretorius went on to say that all SA banks perform well on basic internet banking aspects such as ease of use, information and quality, trust, and dealing with interruptions to services.

However, he noted that banks are finding it a challenge to differentiate their internet offerings from one another.

Other points that Pretorius raised in a briefing to journalists on Thursday was that Absa’s internet satisfaction levels, for example, are lower than the perceptions of its brick and mortar branches.

Pretorius also said that Standard Bank communicated better about its internet banking redesign last year than FNB did. This resulted in stronger perceptions among customers about Standard Bank’s internet banking services.

Awareness of online banking service levels are also on the rise in South Africa, said Pretorius.

He explained that 72% of surveyed participants said they have more than one bank account.

"It's a very different scenario to a couple of years ago where everyone just had a single bank account with a single institution and most of the talk about satisfaction levels was between banking customers who had never seen an interface with another bank,” said Pretorius.

"That's changed quite dramatically,” he added.

Other findings of the survey include that users of traditional internet banking websites access these sites via varied means.

The favoured combination to access accounts online are: computer and cell phone (38%), followed by computer, cell phone and tablet (30%), with a smaller proportion using a computer only (24%).

The survey also separately tried to determine what users’ satisfaction levels were regarding their banks’ mobile facilities.

Here, FNB came up tops again across all mobile platforms as it scored 77 out of a 100. Capitec was in second place (71), followed by Standard Bank (68). Absa (62) and Nedbank (61).

Do you agree with this survey's results? How can local banks improve regarding their internet banking offerings? Tell us by clicking here.

View a graphic of the survey results below:

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