TymeDigital, which will be SA's first fully digital bank, is among the new players expected to transform local banking. Picture: Masi Losi
TymeDigital, which will be SA's first fully digital bank, is among the new players expected to transform local banking. Picture: Masi Losi

The banking landscape in SA is seeing significant change; the new banks emerging to disrupt the sector are showing rapid growth in their customer base while using little to no advertising.

According to research conducted by Ornico, between November 2018 and January 2019 there was a decrease in advertising spend among the top banks, as compared to the same period a year earlier. Analysing the two periods, Ornico found that SA’s top financial services institutions had fewer new adverts flighting for the first time across all mediums. Of the top six banks whose advertising spend was analysed, only Absa was consistent in the number of new advertisements it released.

Number of new ads by banks from November 2017 to January 2018 and November 2018 to January 2019

The two periods show a decline of 38% in terms of new advertisements flighting for the first time, released by the biggest brands in the sector. Nedbank, Standard Bank and African Bank show the biggest declines, pointing to cautious spending over the two periods.

The decrease in spend, however, did not change the top categories, with savings and investments, sport, brand adverts and personal loans taking centre stage across all banking brands.

New banking entrants TymeBank, Discovery Bank and Bank Zero will be ramping up their services this year while their larger competitors seem to be slowing down their communication.recently that the bank had reached over 50,000 customers after its soft launch in November. This was achieved with little to no advertising, bucking the trend of more established banks and illustrating the increased use of digital technology in banking.

Are big banks waiting to see what these entrants have up their sleeves before increasing their own advertising initiatives?

Ornico and the FM, along with a panel of advertising and marketing thought leaders, will analyse advertising and advertising trends in SA’s financial services industry at the AdForum event on March 29 at the Houghton Golf Club.