Guys, does anyone else feel like our banks are taking the piss?
Everyone knows that we’re being charged too much to access our own money here in SA, and with the recent VAT increase at the start of April, those charges are only going up.
But there’s hope, right? Can’t we minimise this if we educate ourselves? Wrong – for the time being, at least.
I mean, have you ever tried (key word) reading your trusted service provider’s fee structure? They write it in extraterrestrial Chinese for a reason – so that we have no idea what we’re paying for, with even less interest in spending the time to figure it out.
BusinessTech speaks your language:
Banking fee structures are often complicated and confusing, with many ‘hidden’ costs tucked away among the day-to-day transactions we’re more familiar with.
Even if you thought that 0,28 cents didn’t make a difference, ask the director of FNB what it did for him.
Business Tech took a closer look at how local fee structures compare to some of the biggest banking names in the US, Europe, Asia and Oz. Keep in mind that these banks operate in different markets, which is why the service names and functions don’t match up 100%. For example:
[I]n the JPMorgan Chase accounts, overdraft fees are charged for each transaction – while in the Bank Australia account, the bank charges an annual fee.
The fees listed for the various banks are [however] as close to the specified services as can be found across the various international banking groups.
Another caveat is that the fees do not consider purchasing price parity – that is, fees would make up a different proportion of a consumer’s monthly income in different countries.
This just means that the comparison is not set out to show which banking group is the cheapest. The goal here is to compare how they structure their fees, and how SA banks can do the same.
Due to its history with the Barclays group, BusinessTech chose Absa to represent SA. They converted all those foreign charges to rands:
The first thing you’ll notice is that Absa charges customers to access their own funds from same-brand ATMs. This is common to SA, but not the rest of the world:
Every major international bank we looked at waives the withdrawal fees entirely when customers take money out of their accounts using the bank’s own machines. In South Africa, every bank charges customers to do this.
How hectic is that? Just because we’re used to it doesn’t make it right.
The positive is that SA banks seem to have adopted a more digital-friendly approach to electronic transfers and payments, with waived or decreased fees compared to that of our global homies:
In places like the USA or Hong Kong, the banks charge large fees for each transaction wired in or out of an account.
So both ‘Merica and Asia feel our pain, but it doesn’t make me feel any less lonely.
I’m no financial genius, but it’s absolute bullshit that we have to pay to access our own money. When will someone shake things up in the SA banking industry, and base a business model on actual customer value?
We’ve heard rumours about a little something that’s set to shake the South African industry up in a big way, so here’s us crossing our fingers.
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