You can bank for less than R30 a month

2012-02-11 10:22

Absa has just launched Absa Transact in a bid to attract clients looking to pay less to transact and bank smart customers could pay as little as R29.15 in banking fees each month.

Absa Transact was introduced in 2010, but has been completely upgraded as a product and will now be available at all 748 Absa branches countrywide – not just the Entry Level and Inclusive Banking (ELIB) Branches.
With 7.4 million entry-level banking clients in South Africa, it’s not surprising that banks are competing for their business.

It becomes a question of who will win the price wars, because low-income consumers want and need the best possible deal. Standard Bank is expected to launch its low cost offering shortly.

What makes Absa Transact appealing?

According to Lawrence Twigg, managing executive for Absa’s ELIB, the chief attraction here is that the product is very affordable and there are no monthly service fees if you earn R2 000 or more a month. It is also available at all Absa branches and Absa has a large footprint throughout South Africa.

» No monthly fees on certain conditions:
The no monthly fee sets this bank account apart from its competitors.
FNB’s low cost option EasyPlan charges a R3.50 monthly fee and Capitec charges a monthly fee of R4.50 (Capitec’s new pricing list will be released on March 1).

But beware – You do need to earn a minimum of R2 000 to qualify, if you do not earn R2 000 a month you will pay a R25 monthly fee which would make this a very expensive account and their Mzansi offering or pre-paid debt card would be a better option.

» No 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 penalty fees for these types of transactions and FNB EasyPlan has a R5 penalty charge which means clients have to be vigilant when it comes to maintaining their accounts.

» Free airtime top-up and mobile banking:
Absa Transact has no fees for buying airtime and does not charge a monthly mobile banking fee unlike some of its competitors.

» Access:
Absa’s offering which is now available at all Absa branches across the country makes it the most accessible.
Capitec’s national footprint is still small in comparison to the big four, while FNB currently only offers its EasyPlan through a limited number of EasyPlan branches.

» Banking for R30:
According to Absa’s comparison tables, a customer who earns R3 000 a month and makes an average of 17 transactions a month (such as balance enquiry, pays an account, tops up his airtime and so on) should end up paying less than R30 a month, says Twigg.

That works out at roughly R1.70 a transaction.
If you’re an existing Absa customer, you’ll have to close an existing transactional account to open an Absa Transact account.

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