First National Bank (FNB) has moved to defend its ATM withdrawal pricing structures following a recent survey which found South Africa to have the highest average ATM fees out of 27 countries.
The bank says its fees on ATM withdrawals are charged according to the product and pricing option used by each customer, highlighting its ‘most popular and cost effective options’ priced at up to R5.60 a pop, while its Pay as You Use pricing option charges up to R24 for a withdrawal.
“Aimed at mainstream market customers (earning under R100k per annum), FNB’s Easyplan account offers the lowest banking fees in South Africa, with ATM cash withdrawals priced at only R3.25 for all values of withdrawal. Another alternative is the FNB Mzansi Account, which charges R5.60 per ATM cash withdrawal, irrespective of value,” FNB said.
The group noted that roughly 80% of its personal cheque customers opt for our bundled pricing options, such as the FNB Unlimited Option, which is available on all of FNB’s personal cheque accounts and Smart transmission accounts.
“With the Unlimited Option, FNB customers pay a fixed monthly fee (Only R49 per month on FNB’s Smart Transmission Account) which includes unlimited electronic transactions (including card swipes, [email protected], debit orders, Internet, cellphone and FNB App banking) as well as six free ATM withdrawals per month,” the group said.
For cheque and transmission customers, with irregular transactional behaviour or who only transact once or twice a month, FNB highlighted its Pay as You Use pricing option, where it charges for ATM transactions using a banded fee which charges fees dependent on between R6 (for withdrawals of up to R500) to a maximum of R24 (for withdrawals of over R1,500).
FNB recommends that its customers swipe their cards to pay for purchases. “All swipes are free for individual customers at FNB, with no monthly limits. Swiping cards is also more convenient, and safer than carrying cash around.”
The bank says that South Africa is structured differently than countries such as the UK – where banks cross-subsidise transaction fees with huge penalty fees (also known in the UK as “sin fees”). For example, FNB pointed out, customers can be charged the equivalent of over R300 (£25) for an unpaid cheque or debit, or over R60 per day (£5) for being over limit.
In response to the survey, Anton de Wet, Nedbank’s managing executive of client engagement said that “Nedbank continues to review its pricing strategy in-line with best practice to deliver great value banking based on simplicity, affordably and transparency. As such, we continue to study various industry survey’s including the Accenture Global Survey to enhance our pricing and client experience.”