The 2022 South African Banking Sentiment Index has been published by DataEQ, uncovering the feelings of South African customers regarding the largest retail banks in the nation.
The index takes into account more than 4 million posts on social media made by customers about South African financial institutions between September 1, 2021, and August 31, 2022. Following that, the group examined the posts in order to determine the prevailing attitudes and topics of conversation.
The customer support and encounter service company utilizes subject analyses to assess the viewpoint of posts (whether they are positive or negative) across 70 different topics and seven broad categorizations, some of which include a public image, customer support, pricing, and retaining customers. The net index score is arrived at by deducting the number of positive sentiments from the total number of negative sentiments.
According to DataEQ, the upward post-pandemic path caused the banking industry’s Net Sentiment to enhance the most significant in the past year, rising rapidly from -7.5% in 2021 to 9.4% in 2022.
“This significant improvement helped banks rise to the first spot in the cross-industry Net Sentiment comparison,” the report stated. “This suggests that South Africans had a relatively good encounter with their banks than they did with local stores, insurance companies, and telecoms companies.”
The Popularity of FNB is Declining
With a net sentiment score of 37.5%, the research conducted by DataEQ indicates that First National Bank has established itself as the most well-liked bank among South African clients. This represents a significant shift away from the findings of 2021 when the bank was positioned at the very bottom of the index with a score of -18.4%.
One-third of the online operations and maintenance conversation that took place at FNB centered on staff competency. This conversation was directly related to the customer experience and was written by authors who perhaps might be, are presently, or were at one moment clients of the bank.
“Customers also praised FNB for its streamlined payment experience,” the group said about the bank.
When looking at the business world as a whole, there was a shift toward placing a greater emphasis on digital experiences in general. The subject of digital experience generated a larger quantity of dialogue than traditional customer service for the very first time.
While free conversation regarding platform navigation and third-party buying surfaced as a positive net, negative factors such as virtual downtime and digital safety were primary drivers of pessimism in this regard.
When one examines the annual Net Sentiment scores for each bank, one will notice that nearly all banks pursue an upward path, particularly beginning in the year 2020. According to DataEQ, the most notable anomaly in this group is Capitec, which has been exhibiting a year-on-year decrease in its Net Sentiment performance since 2019.
With a score of -15.4% in net sentiment in 2022, Capitec ranked last among all companies, illustrating a downward trend over the course of the previous five years.
“With the exception of Capitec and Nedbank, all of the banks showed year-on-year improvement beginning in 2021. “While Nedbank’s decrease was comparatively trivial, Capitec’s total rating lowered by 4.5% in points, highlighting a devaluation in consumer spending compared to previous index results,” the group said.
The index is broken up into two main viewpoint assessments, one that looks at perspectives on operations and another that looks at perspectives on reputation. The sentiment surrounding accusations of unethical conduct or other occurrences that may harm a bank’s reputation is evaluated using an index called the reputation index. The sentiment regarding the actual operational processes of the banks is what the operation index is concerned with.
Consumers gave more than average praise to the reputations of Absa, FNB, TymeBank, and African Bank, whereas the reputations of other banks were influenced more by particular negative events and accusations.
The highest-ranked performer, FNB, had the highest performance Net Sentiment by a significant margin, followed by Absa, which had the second-highest operational Net Sentiment. On the contrary hand, Standard Bank received the lowest score of any company in the industry, with Capitec Bank scoring just a notch above it.
These Indices Are Used by the Banks as Part of Their Risk Assessment Processes
Absa and FNB were the sole two banks that demonstrated a reduction in risk conversation in comparison to 2021. The risk had the greatest impact on TymeBank, Standard Bank, and Capitec Bank, all of which showed the largest year-over-year increases. The majority of this was caused by downtime on various digital platforms.
Capitec Bank exceeded the market average in four risky areas downtime, insinuations of unethical behavior, fraud reports, health, safety, and security. Discovery Bank had the best proportion of threat discussions relating to allegations of unethical behavior, while Capitec Bank had the highest ratio of threat discussions about health safety and security.
Customers felt as though they were being coerced by Discovery into opening a bank account in order to benefit from the perks that were being offered. In the meantime, discrimination was brought up during the risk discussion at the bank as a result of the staff vaccination policy implemented by Discovery Group.
“The year 2022 marked the beginning of a fresh and upbeat period of social media discussion concerning South African banks. According to DataEQ, “Enhanced client experience has also been an important factor in this accomplishment.” Although a bunch of successful and cleverly-crafted social campaigns is largely responsible for the industry’s first-ever net positive score, DataEQ notes that improved customer experience has also played a significant role.
“This year’s top performer in terms of overall performance, FNB, has done a good job with both of these tasks. But FNB’s noteworthy advancement from the 2021 index — having ascended from 8th to the top position — is a testimony to the fact that social networking Net Sentiment is ever-changing and requires continuous effort and attention.