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Capitec boasts excellent results

The number of Capitec clients increased by 15 percent to 16.8 million active clients. File photo: Reuters

The number of Capitec clients increased by 15 percent to 16.8 million active clients. File photo: Reuters

Published Oct 1, 2021

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Capitec Bank Holdings lifted headline earnings a share 513 percent to 3 447 cents in the six months to August 31 and shareholders will undoubtedly also cheer the R12 per share dividend declaration, as no interim dividend was declared last year.

Chief executive Gerrie Fourie said the results were “excellent” considering headline earnings per share were up 35.5 percent over the 2019 interim period, and the bank group had to traverse the challenges of unrest and Covid-19.

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Operating profit before tax was up 837 percent to R5.04 billion. Net asset value increased 22 percent to R31.96bn. Deposits increased 16 percent to R127.9bn. Net transaction income increased 33 percent to R5.2bn.

The number of clients increased by 15 percent to 16.8 million active clients. Fourie said in a telephone interview that over the past four years Capitec added about 2 million new clients a year, but the more important thing was what services the bank could provide its clients.

There were for instance, 8.9m retail bank clients using digital channels - there had been a strong switch to digital in the interim period - 1.5m active Capitec funeral plan policies and some 6m savings clients, he said.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had been challenging on the local economy, but it had also presented opportunities to enhance clients’ experience with new digital solutions, he said.

Notwithstanding this, the growth of the bank meant it was still hiring more people, and some 500 vacancies currently needed to be filled, about 200 at branches and about 300 in the digital data space, he said.

Some 623 million digital transactions were performed in the six month, an increase of 21 percent.

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“We’re seeing rapid growth in South Africa’s digital economy as clients also adopt contactless card payments and online shopping,” said Fourie.

The bank typically tried to make at least four new customer enhancements or products available every six months, and the results reflected the success of the digitalisation journey, he said.

Recent developments included the capability for a prospective client to download the retail banking app, scan their face and identity document and open a Global One account in real-time, as well as the option to have their card delivered in three working days.

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Virtual Global One cards with no transaction fees, designed for safer online shopping, could now be created via app. The volume of transactions using the Scan to pay functionality across all major QR codes continued to grow.

Enhancements were also made to internet banking for the business bank clients, he said.

The innovations resulted in Capitec winning the Internet Banking and Mobile Banking categories of the SITEisfaction 2021 survey and was voted South Africa’s best digital bank for 2021.

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The bank was recently voted the Coolest Bank by South Africa’s youth in the 2021 Sunday Times Generation Next Awards.

The civil unrest that caused the temporary unavailability of some branches in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng resulted in the services offered by call centres being bolstered by employees from the affected branches.

The capacity of the online lending team was strengthened and clients could now apply for credit cards and access facilities telephonically.

There was a shift in client behaviour towards digital and point-of-sale (POS) transactions and a gradual return to pre-pandemic lending criteria.

Capitec partnered with brands to create credit solutions with more favourable interest rates. Clients could, for example, apply for finance for home improvements at CTM, vehicle finance at WeBuyCars and and medical treatment at Mediclinic. Capitec home loans in partnership with SA Home Loans launched in November 2020 had processed over 3 000 applications.

As part of its Live Better programme, the bank partnered with Dis-Chem, Shell, Educate24, GetSmarter, Hello Doctor, JOOX, Rentalcars.com, and Travelstart.

“Within three months of launch, we’ve had over 2.2 million clients activate their Live Better Savings accounts. Our goal is to grow a strong savings culture,” he said.

[email protected]co.za

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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