Financial services group FNB says it keeping monthly account fees unchanged for business customers across the board for a third straight year, largely as a result of the slow pace of economic growth and a challenging operating environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Several electronic transactions have been made free or reduced given the increased move to digital banking channels, the bank said on Thursday (3 June).
As a result, all payment notifications via SMS and email will be free from 1 July 2021, to enable businesses to manage their suppliers and service providers better. In addition, electronic payments and collection fees have been reduced to a maximum of R8.00 from R9.80, while external debit orders will cost R12.00 from R19.00, it said.
Debit orders raised by FNB, Direct Axis or Wesbank will be free. Fees for immediate payments (real-time clearing) have also been reduced to R10.00 for payments less than R3,000, FNB stated.
The bank said it aims to make the process of accepting payments seamless and more electronic for SMEs through a number of solutions including Selpal, QR code and reduced rental fees on merchant devices.
The bank’s First Business Zero account contains no monthly account fee, free electronic transfers, free payment notifications and [email protected] withdrawals, unlimited free POS card swipes, inter-operable QR code for accepting payments and a linked saving pocket to ring-fence savings and earn interest.
First Business Zero is a digital only business bank account designed specifically for sole proprietor businesses with an annual turnover up to R5 million.
Unpaid and honouring fees also remain unchanged in 2021, while both unpaid and honouring remain free on First Business Zero. In the SME space, FNB said that fee reductions have been made in the last two years.
“Our Single Fee Pricing bundle continues to offer more value for our customers as it offers unlimited free card purchases, unlimited free [email protected] withdrawals and a basket of free deposits, withdrawals and account payments,” it said.
As businesses return to normal while trying to recover lost income, the bank continues helping and developing them through a combination of efforts, including eBucks Rewards for Business, saving on fees and access to FNB Business’ suite or free value-added services.
inContact, Business Rewards, Instant Solutions, CIPC registrations and Account Confirmation Letters (via the FNB App and Online Banking), Virtual Cards and the recently launched API for Sage accounting services, will continue to be offered for free, FNB said.