The growth of unexpected players emerging in the financial services industry has created what has been called a ‘marketplace without boundaries’. Non-traditional players are increasingly exploring new opportunities, enabling them to challenge incumbents and continually change the state of financial services in South Africa.
Digital solutions, low-cost operating models and supply-chain integration have moved to the top of the business agenda, with non-traditional players pursuing various aspects of these trends, enabling them to provide their customers with in-house banking solutions.
In response to the growing threat in the retail banking industry, the ‘four universal banks’ (Barclays Africa, Standard Bank, Nedbank and FirstRand) are progressively finding new ways to enable them to stay relevant in the market.
By prioritising key operational trends like digital transformation and data mining, banks can develop solutions to better serve their retail customers and adequately compete with new entrants.
Unlike their challengers, the four universal banks have the principal advantage of being able to serve a sizeable share of South Africa’s business and corporate banking customers. In order to maintain this advantage, they will need to develop strong data analytics capabilities and develop new solutions to better meet the needs of their customers, as well as find efficiencies in their legacy businesses to fund the large-scale transformation effort required.