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1 December 2021

The battle of SA's new entrant banks

African Bank, Discovery and TymeBank remain neck and neck as Bank Zero enters the race

The battle of South Africa’s new banking sector entrants is heating up. While African Bank still leads in terms of customer satisfaction on social media, TymeBank is increasingly close on its heels and Discovery Bank – despite remaining in third position – made impressive progress in 2021.

This is according to BrandsEye’s latest South African Banking Sentiment Index, which analysed over 2.7 million consumer social media posts directed at the country’s major banks between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021.

The battle of South Africa’s new banking sector entrants is heating up. While African Bank still leads in terms of customer satisfaction on social media, TymeBank is increasingly close on its heels, and Discovery Bank – despite remaining in third position – made impressive progress this past year.

This is according to BrandsEye’s latest South African Banking Sentiment Index, which analysed over 2.7 million consumer social media posts directed at the country’s major banks between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021.

SA Banking Sentiment Ranking Challenger Banks

When analysing trends in sentiment towards the new entrants, a similar pattern was observed for Discovery Bank and TymeBank: both launched in 2019; became established in 2020; and saw significant improvement in 2021. African Bank, a long-established bank in comparison, experienced stable sentiment scores in 2019 and 2020, but declined in Net Sentiment in 2021.

Unpacking these results, BrandsEye Business Development Director, Lyndsey Duff, offers the following insight: “In 2019, Discovery’s shareholder policies caused negativity prior to the bank’s launch, while TymeBank was able to drive more positive anticipation. 2020 saw both banks suffer Net Sentiment drops brought on by likely hurdles in establishing new systems, before recovering in 2021 as these growing pains eased.

“For Discovery, improvements were operationally driven, while TymeBank saw reputational gains,” she adds.

In contrast to the recovery seen by Discovery and TymeBank in 2021, African Bank experienced a significant drop in Net Sentiment this year, from 2.6% to -1.3%. “We’re definitely seeing a closer competition when it comes to the baby banks’ battle for Net Sentiment. And adding fuel to the fire, digital banking newcomer, Bank Zero, officially opened to the public in August, so will be one to watch in next year’s index,” concludes Duff.

Contact us to read the full report

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