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How to pick a bank that’s right for you

If you’re thinking of switching to another bank because you’re not happy with your current one, or will be opening a bank account for the first time, you may find it difficult to choose a bank that’s right for you.

If you’re like most customers, you’ll probably want to look at the various banks’ banking fees before you make your decision. You can go through the Banking Fees Guide for 2018 to see the service fees you can expect to pay at South Africa’s major banks. The lowest or highest monthly fee may not necessarily mean that you will get the best service that works for you.

The bank you choose should fit your lifestyle and financial profile; you have to take many factors into account, such as the services and features that you value. FNB’s new eWallet eXtra mobile bank account for instance, which was launched in April, can be opened with a feature phone or a smartphone and it has no monthly maintenance fee. This caters for customers without a regular income.

Here are 3 important factors to take into account when choosing a bank.

1. Fees and rates

Banks operate like any other business; they make you pay for their services through what they call a “bank charge” or “service fee”. However, every bank charges differently, depending on the type of account you have, and how and when you withdraw money from your account. It’s important to look at all the bank’s pricing fees, from ATM withdrawals, to cash deposits and Personal Loan service fees.

2. Banking technology

While most banks have some sort of digital banking technology on offer, which enables customers to make use of web, mobile or digital platforms to access banking services, the sophistication of their banking platforms may differ. Check whether the bank you choose offers all the online or mobile banking options that are of convenience to you. According to a report, FNB was named Africa’s leading bank in 2018. “Banking has evolved from being more than just banking to a lifestyle offering, that touches on the personal and emotional level of our customers,” said Faye Mfikwe, FNB Chief Marketing Officer.

3. Location of ATMs and branches

Think about how important it is for you to communicate with a person face-to-face, or whether you’re happy talking with a person over the phone. If you need to withdraw cash on a regular basis and at different locations, it’s important to look at the number and location of ATMs and branches that a bank has.

 Other aspects you should look at are the types of accounts the bank has on offer, and how their customer service is rated to avoid getting frustrated in the event that you have to call the customer service line.

This article was published in partnership with Hippo.co.za.

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How to pick a bank that’s right for you