Bidvest Bank is making a big new push into the retail banking market with the launch of its Grow Account – a new transactional account that brings on-the-go banking, saving and investing to consumers.
Bidvest Bank has offered transactional services before, but has mainly been a banking platform for businesses. Now the bank is making a fresh play in consumer banking with what it believes is a competitive offering.
The launch of the new account marks the latest entry (or re-entry) into the retail banking space in South Africa, which has long been dominated by the ‘big four’ retail banks, and Capitec in more recent years.
Old Mutual launched an entry-level transactional account in 2017, while TymeBank, Bank Zero, Discovery Bank and African Bank are set for their various plays in the space in 2019.
Speaking to BusinessTech, Bidvest Bank managing director Japie van Niekerk said that the group isn’t necessarily trying to come after Capitec and the other big banks, but is targeting a younger, more tech-savvy market, who may feel intimidated by the prospect of getting into investing.
The Grow account is a three-in-one account, with the investment platform in particular being a key differentiator.
The transactional account gives access to on-the-go banking, with full transactional capabilities, including prepaid purchases, inter-account transfers, card swipes for purchases, cash deposits and tap-and-go functionality and Quick Pay.
The savings account offers an interest rate of 6% on a positive balance, and gives customers tools to set their savings goals – either by allocating and setting aside a percentage of card transactions in the savings account, or by setting a specific amount to save monthly.
As with the Capitec account, with a high enough positive balance, the interest earned in the savings account could easily cover the monthly fees and some transactions on the account.
The final account is an investment account in partnership with EasyEquities, which opens up the world of investing through a Fractional Share trading platform, where customers can invest with no minimums or platform fees.
The Grow Account will also eventually offer international money transfer services. Currently it provides access for free unlimited transfers to other Grow Account accounts via the bank’s new app or online banking platform.
Van Niekerk said that the account has full digital on-boarding, with customers being able to sign up for the account without having to step into a branch – while the group’s physical presence through 80 branches and its ATM network still available to clients.
Pricing and fees
The Grow account has two pricing options – a pay-as-you-transact account, which carries a R6 per month fee, with unlimited free point-of-sale transactions and inter-account transfers, and the All In option, which carries a R175 per month fee, with zero charges on almost all transactions.
The full pricing and fees can be seen below: