Capitec is increasing its investment in new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) as a key enabler in improving its credit risk and its customer experience. This comes ahead of the onslaught of new competition expected in the banking industry. “We intend to be a world leader in the application of AI to consumer banking. Banks generally, and Capitec specifically, have large quantities of quality data. We protect, manage and govern that data very well and that gives us the best raw materials to start with,” says Graham Lee, head of data and digital solutions at Capitec Bank. The bank was itself a disruptor to the traditional “big four” — Standard Bank, Nedbank, FNB and Absa — when it launched 18 years ago with its low-cost and simple retail offering that has made it a darling of consumers and investors. This has seen it leapfrog competitors in terms of the number of retail clients, with the bank recently tweeting that it had added 266,000 new clients i...

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