Guiding consumers since 2009

Forget service, South Africans want lower bank charges

By Staff Writer

In the latest poll run on South Africa's online guide to money, Justmoney users were unanimous in their priority - low charges are the most important factor when it comes to banking.

47% of the respondents polled listed "low bank charges" as the most important factor when it comes to choosing a bank - a response that has Justmoney's General Manager, Andy Gilder, particularly upbeat.

"I think we are nearing a point where South Africans are becoming genuinely interested in their day to day banking charges. Sure, there are a countless number of South Africans who remain oblivious to their monthly bank costs, but in general I think we are becoming far more aware of what some people call ‘hidden costs'."

"Ultimately, we need to get to a stage where South Africans will move banks if they are unhappy - apathetic clients do not make for a competitive industry."

Justmoney.co.za asked its users "What do you look for in a bank?" and the results were as follows:

 

  • 47% said low bank charges
  • 27% said good interest rates
  • 23% said service
  • 7% said convenience

 

Gilder said that the poll reflects the way in which people have begun to interact with the site, with more users accessing calculators and on-site comparison tools than ever before.

"Over the last few months, we have noticed far higher traffic figures on our bank account comparison tools, with users accessing fee details pages more often. We hope that South Africans are using sites like our own to become more informed about the various options available to them because throwing money away on unnecessary bank charges is criminal in times as tough as these."

Gilder reminds us that banks offer very competitive bundled packages as opposed to ‘pay as you use' options. Consumers can pay less than R100/month if they are disciplined in the way they bank.

He also advocates taking advantage of technology.

"If you are fairly technologically savvy there is virtually no reason for you to use your branch anymore - and banks are trying to move more of their business online by charging higher fees for in-branch transactions so using technology will save you money as well as time.

Knowing how you bank and utilising technology can make day to day banking cheaper and simpler."

 

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