CAPITEC has released
its bank fees for the year and there are a few changes, but the monthly
administration fee remains unchanged at R4.50.
This is an interesting decision as both Standard Bank Group
[JSE:SBK] and Absa Group [JSE:ASA] have introduced no monthly fee accounts as
part of their initiative to create low-cost banking.
Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI] makes the point that its monthly
charge of R4.50 has remained the same for the past three years, regardless of
how you transact and what your savings or credit activity is like.
Absa, for example, required the customer to earn R2 000 a
month in order to qualify for no monthly fee.
With the low-price
banking wars heating up, customers need to shop around and understand the
packages they sign up for. But you do need to choose a product most closely
aligned with your banking behaviour. You can save small but significant amounts
if you transact wisely.
So what do you get if you bank with Capitec? Let’s look at
- The monthly fee is unchanged;
- Transfers have gone down by R1 – you will now pay R3 to
make a payment to a Capitec Bank account or another bank account if you use
your card. This costs R1.50 if you transact using the internet;
- A cash withdrawal from a Capitec ATM has gone up from
R3.75 to R4, while withdrawals from any Saswitch ATM remained the same at R7;
- To create, update or cancel a stop order in your branch
will now cost you R4; it cost R3.75 previously;
- A stop order has increased from R2.75 to R3 in branch and
is R1.50 via internet;
- A returned debit order has increased from R3.75 to R4 (a
Naedo returned debit order is free - most clients’ debit orders are Naedo debit
orders – in other words early debit orders - very few organisations still use
the old normal debit order); and
- The cost of a statement requested in your bank’s branch
has gone up from R2.75 to R3.
Banks are encouraging customers to transact online to save
money, which is why you pay more to transact at branches. Capitec offers free
internet and mobile banking (AbsaTransact offers free mobile banking), and each
transaction you make costs R1.50 (half the cost in a branch).
But note the restrictions:
You can make payments to a Capitec Bank account or another
bank account via the internet, and create, update or cancel a debit order – but
that’s the extent of the transactions you can make.
With your cellphone, you can make a payment to a Capitec
Bank account, as well as top up airtime and electricity.
Capitec’s prepaid airtime purchase is free if you top up
with your cellphone (Capitec doesn’t yet offer airtime purchases via internet
banking, but may do so in the future).
With FNB’s EasyPlan, you pay R1 for a prepaid top-up via the
internet, and R2.95 for a payment. Transfers and balance enquiries are free.
In terms of cellphone banking, you can perform the same
transactions, as well as send money to FNB’s e-Wallet. But note that you pay
R8.50 a month to subscribe to cellphone and internet banking.
The ATM debate
At Capitec Bank the R7 fee for withdrawing at another bank’s
ATM remains the same, irrespective of the amount you withdraw.
Withdrawals at Capitec ATMs are pricier – but withdrawal
from another bank's ATM is still the cheapest of all the banks.
The closest comparable fee here is FNB’s EasyPlan option –
you pay R7.70 to use another bank’s ATM.
That said, Charl Nel, head of strategic communication at
Capitec, says that ATMs are not a cost-efficient way of giving consumers access
to their money, so there are no plans to roll out more Capitec ATMs – in fact,
ATMs should be a last resort.
Cheaper options include swiping for goods with your card at
no cost. Getting cash back at one of the 36 000 till points at participating
retailers costs R1, says Nel.
Capitec doesn’t see itself in competition with AbsaTransact,
for example, as you need to have a minimum of R2 000 flowing into your
AbsaTransact account each month or you pay a R25 fee; and there is also no
internet banking available on this plan.
Absa is also the first bank to completely waive penalty fees
for bounced debit orders and insufficient funds at ATM withdrawals or point of
Capitec's Global One account charges R3.75 (this is R4.00
and if it is a Naedo debit order – early debit order – then it is free) penalty
fees for these types of transactions and FNB EasyPlan has a R5 penalty charge.
- City Press