- Bank Zero has announced its 2023 banking fees and kept most unchanged, though it has cut the cost of card deliveries.
- It has reduced the cost of delivering its bank cards to customers, while it has also been busy adding new services.
- Customers can also now deposit cash into their accounts at Pick n Pay and Shoprite Group stores.
- For more stories, go to the News24 Business front page.
A little over a year after its launch, Bank Zero has announced its new fees for 2023, and instead of going up, the country's youngest retail bank has kept most of its fees unchanged and even made a cut or two.
"This is a beautiful inflation-beating story at a time when living costs are increasing beyond what is palatable," Bank Zero CEO, Yatin Narsai, said on Tuesday. "All the zeros are indeed still zeros."
There had been speculation about how sustainable the digital bank's zero-fee structure was when it finally launched in August 2021 after a number of delays. But, instead of hikes, the firm wants to stay "on top" of zero pricing and is adding new services, while cutting the costs of others. For instance, having a new Bank Zero card delivered at Clicks stores now costs R10 less. It will cost R20 less to have a card delivered to a street address in most cities.
Bank Zero customers can also deposit cash into their accounts now, which it says it prioritised due to customer requests. It has partnered with Pick n Pay and Shoprite to let its customers deposit money at till points. Customers can deposit up to R3 000 at Shoprite Group stores and up to R5 000 at Pick n Pay. But it appears that the retailers have the discretion to set their own fees for this service. Bank Zero said customers must confirm this with the cashier before making the deposit.
Back to fees, the bank decided to keep prices for many other services unchanged. Drawing cash at an ATM will still cost R9 per R1 000, and a flat R2 fee will stay in place for those withdrawing cash at retailers like Pick n Pay, Spar, and Shoprite. The SendMoney fee remains unchanged at R8.50, and so will the cost of all other bank services.
What used to cost zero fees in 2021 and 2022 will still attract no fees in 2023. But if no transactions are going on in the account for more than six months, Bank Zero will start charging customers a fee of R5 a month, which is also unchanged from 2022.
READ | Bank Zero says SA's fees are a 'massive anomaly'. Here's how it compares to low-cost competitors
Bank Zero chairperson Michael Jordaan said the zero-fee model has attracted a large percentage of first adopters and business banking customers. They have higher-than-expected activity on their account activity. He said even the bank was somewhat surprised by the large percentage of business banking customers joining Bank Zero. Many consolidated their accounts from different banks, finding a home to put everything in one basket at Bank Zero.
"It clearly talks to the current gap in the market for business banking – both in terms of fees and solutions," said Jordaan.