By Business Reporter
CHOOSING an ideal banking account for your needs, while keeping abreast of fees and knowing what value you are getting from your bank, should help you avoid unnecessary charges, says Jerome Namaseb, Manager of Product, Pricing and Profitability at FNB Namibia.
“As with most things in life, bank charges also increase on an annual basis, and if you can’t quite put your finger on bank charges when checking your statement every month, it is possible that you either don’t have the best banking account that suits your transacting needs or may have adopted behaviour that is costing you a bit more,” Namaseb said.
“We wish to assist all our customers in ensuring they get the best for their money and save on fees where possible.”
Namaseb shared the following ten tips on how to save on banking charges:
Choosing the right account
Never choose a bank account merely because of its monthly account fee, rather base the decision on your transacting needs, to avoid incurring additional charges. For example, on a pay-as-you-use structure, you may be charged extra every time you make a transaction, while on a bundle offering, you are able to perform multiple or unlimited transactions, without incurring additional charges.
A pay-as-you-use structure would be best suited for a customer with a low number of monthly transactions, while bundle offerings are best suited for those with a higher number of monthly transactions. Make sure that you choose a bundle that is in line with your monthly transactional behaviour and monthly needs.
Avoid using another bank’s ATM
Avoid withdrawing money at an ATM belonging to another bank, as the costs are higher than using your bank’s ATM.
Bank on digital channels
Whenever possible, try to use digital and electronic channels for transactions, as these are usually free or attract lower costs, compared to using a bank branch. In addition, digital channels offer you the convenience of performing your banking anywhere, anytime; thereby saving you time and money, by avoiding travelling to a branch.
Swiping your card
Instead of withdrawing cash to purchase necessities, rather swipe your card, as it is safer than carrying cash. Check whether your bank offers unlimited card swipes at no additional charge, regardless of the amount.
Avoid penalty charges
Always make sure there is sufficient money in your account, to cover all purchases and debit orders. This will help you from incurring penalty, charges when transactions fail.
Overdraft facility fees
An overdraft facility will help to meet those unexpected cash flow shortfalls, and will help you avoid penalty fees, due to insufficient funds. Although FNB only charges customers for having an overdraft facility when they use it, other banks may charge you a monthly fee for merely having the facility, even if you don’t use it.
If you have an email address, request your bank to rather email your statement to you, instead of posting it. Not only will they arrive much sooner, but you will avoid any charges for postal statements, which some banks may levy. If you need to check your transaction history, make use of your bank’s digital channels to view your balance and transaction history, or download your recent statements for free.
Take care of your bank cards
Be extra cautious with your bank cards, as some banks will usually charge you a fee for replacing them.
Exceeding monthly caps for certain transactions may attract additional fees. For example, on certain account bundles, FNB offers you a number or value of ATM withdrawals for free, with additional charges as soon as you exceed the limit.
Don’t ignore communication from your bank
Banks often review their account fees annually, offering you a breakdown of changes and adjustments. It’s important to thoroughly go through and understand these fee changes, and how they impact the way you transact on a monthly basis
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