Cape Town - Banks should stop charging fees for transactions made by children, suggests Angelique Ruzicka, editor of Moneybags and sister website, Justmoney.
Moneybags provides advice, guides, deals and savings on retail products and financial services within South Africa.
Let children’s first banking and saving experiences rather be about seeing their money grow instead of seeing their funds deplete thanks to transactional and admin charges, in Ruzicka's view.
“Children don’t earn salaries. They earn or get given pocket money, so why should they be charged to withdraw or deposit their money or, in some cases even pay monthly account fees if they keep low balances?” says Ruzicka.
"In a country where we don’t save enough as it is, banks should be giving our children incentives to save instead of taking their money away if they don’t learn how to follow the rules that come along with transacting. If banks get this right, they could end up with clients for life.”
Banking tips for children:
Save on withdrawal fees
If you have to withdraw cash, ask your bank about the cheapest method. Check to see if you qualify for free ATM withdrawals.
Save on balance enquiries
If you need to check your balance, save money by opting for the display function on the ATM rather than printing out a slip as this could cost you money. Alternatively find out if your bank allows you to view your account balances online for free.
Keep your mini statement checks to a minimum as these are usually more expensive than a simple balance enquiry.
If you are saving, consider a savings account or unit trust as an alternative if you want more interest.
Transactional accounts typically don’t provide clients with high interest rates and the same goes for children’s transactional banking accounts.
Save on deposit fees
When depositing money, rather transfer the money electronically into the account or use an ATM.
As soon as you go into a branch and ask for help from one of the tellers the deposit fee shoots up and it will eat away at your hard earned savings if you do this regularly.
Encourage your children to transact online as much as possible. Children generally love technology anyway so encourage them to view their account online or on their phones and transact through these channels.
Explain that as soon as ATM’s or branch tellers are involved costs start adding up.
Use own bank's ATM
When transacting always use your bank’s own ATMs. Tell your children that if they use another bank’s ATM to transact they will pay a lot more than if they were to use their own bank’s ATMs.
Look after your bank card
Teach your children to look after their bank cards. Losing a bank card is not only a security risk, but banks charge you to replace that lost card.
Reset your PIN
If, for example, you reset your PIN at a branch, you could get charged, while doing the same thing using an ATM could be free.
Make sure there are funds in the account. If your child gets declined when they are making a purchase due to insufficient funds, they could get charged.
Don’t use these accounts overseas. Transacting overseas can be expensive, so rather switch or transfer money into an account that offers you the best overseas ATM transaction fee charges to suit your needs.
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