Capitec kicks off 2012 with new pricing

2012-03-10 10:10

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 and Absa have introduced no monthly fee accounts as part of their initiative to create low-cost banking.

Capitec 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 what’s changed:

» 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.

Online transacting
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.

Penalty fees
Absa is also the first bank to completely waive penalty fees for bounced debit orders and insufficient funds at ATM withdrawals or point of sale.

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.

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