Capitec Transforms Operational Capabilities with SAP S/4HANA to Keep Pace with Rapid Growth

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa November 11th, 2021 As changing consumer habits and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drive adoption of digital services in Africa, banks in particular are under pressure to extend their services into the digital realm.

One recent study found that 96% of banks operating in the African continent have digital transformation at the top of their agendas.

For one of South Africa’s largest and most innovative banks, a rapidly growing customer base hungry for its banking services led to an ambitious and award-winning digital transformation project built on SAP’s powerful S/4HANA platform.

“As a business we believe in the power of technology to make banking interactions easier and simpler for our customers. That includes the back-office functions that supports the banking interactions,” says Werner Carstens, SAP Architect at Capitec. “However, our existing systems and processes could not keep pace with our rapid growth, creating several operational challenges. We chose to introduce new capabilities in our internal support services organisation and to deploy SAP S/4HANA to support the execution. The establishment of these capabilities were aligned with the SAP process design initiatives during the 19-month implementation process.”

Capitec is a leading banking services provider in South Africa that was founded in 2001. Today, Capitec provides a range of simple, affordable, and accessible banking and financial services to its 16 million clients.

Prior to the implementation, Capitec had to contend with increased people overhead due to a reliance on manual data capturing, which reduced its capacity for information analysis and business optimisation. A duplication of effort across applications and departments, with disparate master data and a lack of end-to-end process oversight added further challenges.

In the four years leading up to the project, Capitec experienced average client growth of 94 000 per month, but that grew to 160 000 clients per month during the implementation, growth that has been sustained post the project.

“Our back-office process management challenges had a negative impact on the ability of our support services to reach their service level agreements with customer-facing delivery teams. We identified our general ledger, procurement, project systems, asset management and real estate processes as key priority areas for the project.”

Carstens adds that the rapid growth across the business during the project impacted the support service organisation’s target operating model, process design, functional specification, and change management initiatives, as well as the availability of key team members. “However, following the implementation we have gained a truly best-of-breed ERP solution that integrates with our existing budget and planning solution, and is scalable enough to support us into 2025 and beyond.”

The implementation was recently recognised at the SAP Quality Awards, where it won in the Business Transformation category. Carstens says the buy-in and support from executives and the establishment of a dedicated project team across business and IT contributed to the overall success of the project.

“Our team established KPIs and interventions to monitor the progress of transactional processing against expected volumes for the month post go-live and tracked actuals on a weekly basis to identify deviances. This enabled us to identify process bottlenecks and implement appropriate interventions. Following the implementation, we continued to enhance and adapt the implementation to support our aim of building high-performance support services capabilities.”

Cameron Beveridge, Regional Director for Southern Africa at SAP, says Capitec has leapt ahead in its ability to serve its growing customer base with this highly successful digital transformation project. “The way customers interact with their bank has changed irrevocably over the past eighteen months, requiring banks to transform their back-office operations to improve customer-facing processes. With this ambitious and highly successful technology implementation, Capitec has transformed its ability to meet modern customer demands while also gaining greater efficiency, accuracy and intelligence across its operations.”