Capitec now open on Sundays

By Staff Writer

As part of its unique business approach to make retail banking simpler and more accessible for its clients, South Africa’s youngest retail bank, Capitec Bank, this week announced a first for its industry: permanent Sunday trading.

Launched at 84 of its 460 branches located in or around shopping centres on Sunday 7 May, 2011, the bank has aligned its trading hours to those such as FMCG retailers and restaurants to give clients increased flexibility to do their banking. This follows its successful roll out of longer banking hours at its inception.

Carl Fischer, marketing and corporate affairs executive said: “Capitec Bank has a single-minded approach to banking: it is based on the retail model and challenges the traditional banking experience. By opening our branches on Sundays, we will not only enable clients to do their personal banking when it suits them, but also further align ourselves to other retailers’ opening hours. It will also help to reduce in-branch pressure experienced over month end peak days.”

And, while competitors have trialled Sunday trading in various forms and not on a national basis, they could not sustain it largely due to cost. Capitec Bank, on the other hand, is able to implement Sunday trading due to its innovative banking model that is based on paperless technology. It negates the need for a back office to manage cumbersome end-of-day administration meaning more time is available for staff to serve clients, instead of cashing up.

“One of Capitec’s major points of differentiation is its ability to process clients’ requests – opening new accounts, transactions, withdrawals and deposits – quickly, using innovative technology. This significantly reduces time, and cost, and is among reasons why the Sunday trading is easier for us to roll out,” explains Fischer.

He goes on to say that Sunday trading will be considered beyond the current 84 branches in due course, enabling increased job opportunities for current and new staff. To date, 100 new jobs have been created nationwide.  “Rotational shift schedules will allow for flexible working hours and even allow staff full weekends off at times,” Fischer says.

This isn’t the first time Capitec Bank has addressed the often disappointing banking experience facing South Africans today either. In 2010, it launched a free cash withdrawal promotion at retail outlets like Pick ‘n Pay and Checkers to encourage clients to view the till point as the new ATM due to increased convenience, safety and affordability. This, coupled with its announcement in February 2011 not to increase fees for the year – the only bank to do so – and launch of SMS updates that alert clients to their spending habits – underpins its commitment to giving clients greater control of their money.

“Our recent client growth of 33 percent (since February 2010) indicates there is significant need for affordable and transparent banking among South Africans. As such we are confident that the offer of Sunday trading will be taken up positively among our clients as it will afford them increased convenience outside of working hours to do their personal banking.”

For more information about Capitec Bank and its new Sunday trading visit www.capitecbank.co.za.

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