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Choose the right bank account for your needs

By Faeza
24 March 2017

MANY people are advised to open a bank account, but this is done without any information, except that it will keep their money safe and that’s where their salary will be deposited.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT ACCOUNT

It is important to know the kind of account that will best suit your banking needs. This depends on your banking behaviour, which is how many debit orders you have, the number of ATM withdrawals etc. “If you have basic banking requirements, then a bank account with a very low monthly account fee and a pay-as-you-use structure will probably be the most cost effective for you,” says Ryan Prozesky, CEO of Value Banking Solutions at FNB. Choosing a bundle for your account will leave you with no surprises when you look at your bank statement at the end of the month. The consultant opening your account will have to explain how much each transaction costs and this will depend from account to account and even bank to bank. “However, if you use your account more frequently, it is wise to choose an account that offers a transaction bundle to best suit your transactional

needs. A bundle option on your account will allow you to perform multiple or unlimited transactions, without incurring extra charges,” says Ryan.

AVOID FRUSTRATION FROM BANKING FEES

When most people are reading their bank statements, they are usually left knowing less than they did before they picked it up. But it is not an unusual occurrence that one is left confused by their bank statement. Ryan says one of the most important things for people to consider when reviewing their bank account fees is whether they have the right account

for the way they transact. He says choosing the right account will go a long way in avoiding frustration, unnecessary costs and wasting time. Be honest with the bank consultant about your earning capacity and banking behaviour to get the account that suits you.

KEEPING CHARGES TO A MINIMUM

Jan Moganwa, chief executive for Customer Solutions at Absa Retail and Business Banking, says there are ways you can keep your bank charges low and it begins with your banking behaviour. “Choose the right product for your needs,” he says. Experts encourage that you engage with the consultant and not be afraid to ask questions. “We encourage customers to discuss their unique financial needs with us so we can advise them on the most appropriate and affordable solutions to suit their lifestyle and life stage,” says Jan.

Ryan adds that, “A good alternative to using cash is to swipe your debit card. Not only is swiping a safer option than carrying cash; but it often does not attract any transaction fees.” If you absolutely need cash, some banks have an agreement with certain retailers to make free withdrawals at the till.

CHEAPER TRANSACTING

It is vital to take into account that access to your money is available on different channels and they have different prices. Banking electronically is more convenient, cheaper and can be done anywhere at any time. Jan encourages that you make use of digital platforms to avoid extra charges or get free services. He advises that you use your bank’s ATM, internet banking and cellphone banking as they are cheaper than performing transactions in the branch. “We encourage the use of these services because they are also cost effective for the bank,” says Jan