Absa bank has published its updated fee schedule for banking customers in 2020, showing price cuts in withdrawals fees and entry-level banking.
The South African banking market has become highly competitive in 2019, particularly with a host of new accounts targeting the entry-level (typically low-income) markets.
Accounts in this sector now offer ‘zero banking’, with the pressure on legacy banks (Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank, FNB and Capitec) to meet the price points of new, digital entrants (TymeBank, Bank Zero) which offer zero monthly fees and a host of free transactions.
This pressure is reflected in the new fee schedule published by Absa, showing price cuts in its entry-level Transact Account, virtually across the board.
The bank has also implemented a fee restructuring in the higher-tiered accounts also bringing a lower cost to deposit and access money in the bank.
While entry-level banking customers are benefitting from the more intense competition with a reduction in monthly account fees, mid-level to high-level banking customers will feel the pinch, with higher monthly fees for all main bank accounts.
This is how the monthly account fees have changed:
- Transact Account: R4.90 (down from R5.30)
- Flexi Account: R29.00 (up from R26.00)
- Gold PAYT: R50.00 (up from R48.00)
- Gold Value Bundle: R109.00 (up from R107.00)
- Premium Banking: R190.00 (up from R179.00)
Entry level accounts
Absa has made its basic, entry-level Transact account even more affordable in 2020, reducing withdrawal fees (for native ATMs), deposits and the monthly account fee.
Withdrawal fees now include a ‘per R1000’ calculation, dropping the strict fixed fee of R6.50.
Customers with this account who exhibit higher transactional activity (credits in excess of R5,000 a month for 3 months), will be moved to the higher-tier Flexi Account, Absa said.
|Absa Transact Account||2019 Fees||R500 transaction in 2019||2020 Fees||R500 transaction in 2020||% Change|
|Withdrawal (Saswitch)||R10.50 + R1.50 / R100||R18.00||R11.50 + R2.00/R100||R21.50||+19.4%|
|Deposit (ATM)||R4.50 + R1.50 / R100||R12.00||R2.00/R100||R10.00||-20.0%|
|Debit orders (internal)||Free||Free||–|
|Debit orders (external)||R3.80||R3.50||-7.9%|
|Monthly account fee (PAYT)||R5.30||R4.90||-7.5%|
Full service accounts
For its mid-market (Gold) and premium (Platinum) accounts many of the fees have been restructured to reflect a simpler calculation – a trend seen in many other competing accounts.
For example, withdrawal fees have dropped the additional R4.50 charge on top of the ‘per R100’ calculation, and now just follows a simpler R2 per R100 formula.
This has resulted in withdrawal charges from native Absa ATMs to decrease overall. However, if customers find themselves without an Absa ATM to draw from, the charges for other ATM withdrawals has increased.
ATM deposits have followed the same trend, dropping the additional charge on top fo the ‘per R100’ calculation.
Point-of-sale withdrawals have dropped to R2.00 (in-line with many of the new banking entrants).
The non-bundled Gold account (Pay As You Transact) has increased from R48 to R50 per month, while the Gold Bundle has also increased marginally from R107 to R109.
The Platinum Account has seen the biggest price jump, from R179 to R190 a month. Both the bundled and platinum accounts move to PAYT pricing once their limits are used up.
The changes to main transactions in mid-level accounts can be seen in the table below:
|Absa Gold Cheque Account||2019 Fees
|R500 transaction in 2019||2020 Fees||R500 transaction in 2020||% Change|
|Withdrawal (Native)||R4.50 + R1.50/R100||R12.00||R2.00/R100||R10.00||-16.7%|
|Withdrawal (Saswitch)||R10.50 + R1.50/R100||R18.00||R11.50 + R2.00/R100||R21.50||+19.4%|
|Deposit (ATM)||R4.50 + R1.60/R100||R12.50||R2.00/R100||R10.00||-20.0%|
|Debit order (internal)||Free||Free||–|
|Debit order (external)||R19.00||R19.00||–|
|Account fee (PAYT)||R48.00||R50.00||+4.2%|
You can find the full fee schedule for Absa accounts here, and it has been embedded below: