Bank charges hot topic as FNB waives Saswitch fee…

FNB’s innovation follows several banks changing ATM fee structures, illustrating how the issue has become a hot topic with consumers.

Saswitch fees are basically the fees your bank charges you every time you use another bank’s ATM.

However, of the big four banks, Standard Bank appears to be the only one that has seen fit to lower Saswitch fees in line with low cost banks such as Capitec and TymeBank.

FNB is definitely making ground in this space with the decision to completely remove Saswitch fees on peak paydays, but should also consider reducing Saswitch fees for the rest of the month.

In 2021, the Banking Association of South Africa announced a temporary removal of all Saswitch fees in banks for a period of two months.

However, Absa, FNB and Nedbank have not seen fit to lower Saswitch’s fee since then, keeping the fee between R34-35, which can be seen as punitive compared to the more reasonable fee of R9.75-10. .50 rands that other banks have in place.

“Even though we have 5,000 FNB ATMs across the country and the ability to have free cash at checkouts, we still see many customers using other bank ATMs to access cash.

“We find that this mainly happens on very specific days, such as payroll payment days and days when Sassa grants are paid. To provide further relief, we are waiving all Saswitch fees on certain peak payment days of the month, namely the 25the1st31st and the 3rdsays Ancley Jacobs, managing director of FNB Retail Core Banking.

On the lower income side, the price changes are minimal, with the monthly account fee for FNB Easy PayU customers remaining at R4.95, while FNB Easy Zero customers have no monthly account fee.

The FNB Easy Smart client will absorb an increase of R3 in their monthly account fee, which increases to R62 per month but allows unlimited electronic transactions.

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How ETF fees in 2022 hold up against other banks

As for the entry-level Easy PayU account, it largely seems to hold its own against similar entry-level accounts from other banks.

As for the popular eBucks platform, FNB is making it available to more than half a million additional customers from July 1, with new earning rules and account pricing, in recognition of the fact that South Africans are currently facing an inflationary lifestyle deluge. increase.

Over two million customers currently benefit from eBucks, with approximately 25% of entry-level and middle-income customers recovering over 50% of their banking fees in eBucks.

eBucks chief executive Johan Moolman said that from July, Aspire ETF customers earning between R180,000 and R450,000 a year will only need to complete a single app transaction instead. of three to qualify for eBucks.

FNB Easy PayU and FNB Easy Smart Option customers, who earn between R36,000 and R180,000 per year, will be eligible for eBucks by withdrawing cash at a cashier. Cash withdrawals at the cash desks represent 18% of the total volume of cash withdrawals.

The opening of the eBucks rewards platform will be welcomed by cash-strapped consumers facing the rise inflation and one interest rate hike cycle.

Although the price of gasoline has increased, the government has extended this week fuel tax relief until August 6, with a reduction of Rand 1.50 per liter until July 6, then a reduction of 75 cents until August 2.

FNB currently pays around R2 billion in rewards each year, of which R450 million can be attributed to fuel rewards in the past year.

Consumers at the higher end of the scale – earning R450,000 and above – will absorb the most increases in monthly charges. These clients typically use the FNB Premier, Private Client and Private Wealth offers and the monthly fee increases by 5% to R230, R420 and R525, respectively.

The bank appears to be quietly encouraging middle-class consumers to take out credit by keeping the monthly fee for the Aspire Fusion ETF account stable at R99, while implementing an R6 increase on the monthly fee for the Aspire Current account, moving the needle at R105 a month.

The main difference is that the Aspire Fusion includes a built-in credit facility, while the Aspire Current account is a simple bank account. Both accounts offer an overdraft facility.

Fees for international purchases range from 2.75% to 2% per transaction, which is significantly lower than most competitors.

Raj Makanjee, managing director of FNB Retail, said the discount will help customers save money on international service charges such as video and music streaming services, online shopping and email rates.

As for sending money, FNB Easy customers will now receive one free eWallet send per month, while Aspire accounts at Private Wealth will receive two free eWallet sends per month as part of a suite of real-time payment solutions.

“We pride ourselves on putting customers at the center of our value propositions, and the changes we are implementing demonstrate our commitment to value-based financial and lifestyle solutions, especially during these challenging economic times.

“We are also excited to see more and more of our customers using our lifestyle solutions through eBucks, FNB Connect and nav>> to optimize their fuel spend, manage budgets, telecoms and smart devices,” says Makanjee. DM/BM

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