iring for IT positions in South Africa’s banking industry showed strong growth in August, new data shows.
According to Retail Banker International, citing GlobalData’s Job Analytics database, the local banking and payments industry recorded an 11.8% rise in IT hires.
Capitec told reporters at its headquarters in Stellenbosch last month that it is on a recruitment drive in the data and technology space. Wim de Bruyn, the chief information officer for Capitec, said the bank – the biggest in the country by customers – has targeted approximately 500 data people and technologists.
He said that more products have called for a larger pool of tech and data experts. Similarly, Standard Bank also increased its hiring budget in the tech space earlier in 2022, while FNB went on a hiring spree in the middle of last year – recruiting 300 experts with engineering, technology, data and quant skills.
According to GlobalData, Sanlam posted 132 IT jobs in August, followed by FirstRand with 101 jobs, Discovery with 80 IT jobs and Standard Bank Group with 51 jobs.
The most sought-after positions included the following:
Software and web developers, programmers, and testers – accounting for as much as 41% of all titles in the sector in August.
Database and network administrators and architects claimed a near 20% share; while
Computer and information analysts held a share of around 19%.
While the country’s top banks have mostly all accelerated their digital strategies post Covid-19, they still see cash remaining key to their business as almost a third of their customers aren’t ready to go cashless, according to a survey.
While 86% of people already use digital banking, almost all customers said they still withdraw cash at least once a month to meet various needs, Bloomberg reported, citing a survey conducted by Discovery Bank and Boston Consulting Group. As long as a significant percentage of the population uses cash, the country can’t move to a fully cashless system, according to the report.
“South Africa still has a high reliance on cash relative to some other countries,” Hylton Kallner, chief executive officer of Discovery’s banking unit. “But the direction, and the acceptance by consumers and embrace of digital payments, and the fact that they see the future in that direction, is accelerating.”
Nearly a quarter of surveyed South African adults expect to bank with a digital-only bank by 2023.
Mike Brown, the chief executive officer of Nedbank, speaking to BusinessDay, said that it is trying to move toward a balance whereby digital banking capabilities are combined with face-to-face human interaction at a branch level.
“There is a segment of people who are entirely happy to do everything digitally — but there’s very definitely a segment of people who need some digital coupled with some human interaction,” he said.
“While banking is increasingly digital, the way we like to think of it as ‘warm digital’: we’re digital when you want it, and we’re human when you need it. We feel most clients need a bit of both.”
Capitec group executive for retail banking, Graham Lee, said that the bank doe not intend to reduce its branch network count despite the migration to digital. Lee said that a bank sells trust to a consumer and often that is best conveyed through face-to-face.
Raj Makanjee, the chief executive officer of FNB Retail and Private Banking said that in the future, FNB branches would be up to 76% smaller than their current size. Despite digital migration, FNB noted that it also recognises that there is no technological substitute for personalised advice.
“As a result, we believe that clients who use our branches should be able to perform day-to-day banking through our digital zones, with the option to consult with our experts for human assistance as needed,” said Makanjee.