Who’s winning African commercial online banking?

According to the recent report by WhySatisfy and Brandwatch, it was found that one bank in each country analysed (Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) dominated online and social media conversations.

Competition in this space is fierce though and thus the major players can change at any time. Getting the lion’s share of voice can be achieved relatively simply, for example: by running an effective social media marketing campaign (e.g. Standard Bank’s #WhatsYourNext campaign). The audience for this industry is very active on Twitter and this platform has become one of the easiest ways for customers to interact with a bank.

Who's winning online in African commercial banking?Millennials are mobile

In order to not get left behind, banks need to be innovative and agile in listening. Understanding and engaging with the needs of today’s customers. Millennials are the future of the commercial banking industry. Its success will be based on the banks’ ability to get their internet banking and mobile banking customer experiences right.

The experience of ‘visiting your branch’ needs to be completely digital, from beginning to end. If the user has to go offline for a single step, they’ll be lost. An example of a bank that is winning at this is Capital One in the USA. They recognised where the future success of their bank lies and therefore only target millennials. When studying this target market, they found that the top two places millennials like to hangout are: coffee shops and yoga studios. Capital One Cafes were born…”We believe that banking should fit your life, not the other way around.”

The report also notes that the majority of conversations on social in this industry were around mobile and internet banking which is not surprising as this is a very mobile savvy user base. Mobile banking is where future success lies. In the past quarter, this topic of discussion online and on social media was growing at an accelerating rate.

On the web, 37% of all conversations were around mobile banking which was reflected on Facebook and Twitter, with 29% and 42% respectively. This data shows just how active commercial banking customers are on social media in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Changing perceptions

In Africa, mobile connectivity is growing exponentially, with 90% penetration of the continent’s 1.2bn population, 57% of which are smartphones. Being able to access a full range of banking services for your mobile device is centred around convenience. Customers want to be able to access and transact with their money at any time but most importantly, in a secure way. Succeeding with social customer service mid-June until now has also seen a sharp increase in online and social discussions about service – another high priority area for customers.

Adding value
Banks need to show potential customers they are able to add value and are willing to help with any problems quickly and efficiently.

The customer needs to be made to feel at ease with the service they are receiving and that their bank is looking after their hard-earned money. Effective social customer care has developed into a leading driver of success. All it takes is a single action or key element to completely change how the bank is perceived by a customer. It is good to see that all banks analysed were active daily on social media; interacting with their customers.

Almost 80% of these social discussions were neutral, while only 12% were negative and 8% were positive. On the web 28% of conversations were around service, which was mirrored by the conversations on Facebook and Twitter. Almost a quarter of all conversations were service related as well, being 26% and 24% respectively. Read more

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