What is over the counter banking?

By Staff Writer
There are various ways in which you can transact when it comes to banking. You can transact electronically through online banking, over the counter, by phone, using ATMs or through your private banker. FNB Banking Channels explained that “over the counter banking refers to banking that occurs in a branch where a customer interacts with a teller or sales representative.”
The costs between over the counter banking and electronic and cell phone banking differ. Electronic banking, however, is the cheapest way to transact through your bank as it does not require the customer to interact with staff. “Due to the absence of human resources during digital banking usage the bank is able to pass the cost saving benefit on to the customer,” notes FNB Banking Channels.
Over the counter banking, one of the most expensive ways to transact, refers to banking transaction that you do in the bank (in the branch) via one of the tellers, as opposed to via an ATM or internet banking.
The transaction fees for over the counter banking often work out more than if you were to make use of an automated transfer system such as an ATM or internet banking, as the bank has to cover staffing costs.
The over the counter charges differ according to account type, as well as the type of transaction, for example a cash deposit or a withdrawal. However, some transactional accounts include a few over the counter services in the monthly fees.
Below is one example of a normal transactional account and one example of a private banking account for Absa, Nedbank, First National Bank (FNB) and Standard Bank, to illustrate the cost of over the counter services, as well as how they do, or do not differ for normal and private banking clients.
The Absa Gold value bundle account has a monthly service fee of R98. These fees include five Absa ATM cash deposits and five withdrawals, unlimited debit card purchases and point-of-sale (POS) cash withdrawals, unlimited electronic account and beneficiary payments, as well as unlimited funds transfers and internal payments and electronic information enquiries.
However, over the counter, or in branch transactions are not included in these fees. You have to pay on a pay-as-you-transact basis for over the counter services.
The pay-as-you-transact fees for in branch services with the Absa Gold account are as follows*:
Transaction Cost for a single transaction
Balance enquiries R3.35
Full bank statement R16.00
Deposit R16.00
Withdrawal R40 + R1.50 per R100 (maximum R750)
Account payments and funds transfers R40
Source: Absa
For Absa private banking clients some over the counter services are included in the monthly fees. For example, the Absa Private Bank Cheque accounts have a management fee option with a monthly fee of R270. This includes in branch cheque deposits, cash withdrawals, account payments and funds transfers.
The over the counter services that you pay for include*:
Transaction Cost for a single transaction
Cash deposit R7.00 + R1.45 per R100
Mini-statement R8
Full bank statement R16
Balance enquiries R3.35
Source: Absa Private Banking
The Nedbank Savvy Plus Account has a monthly account maintenance fee of R99. This includes an array of free electronic payment options, as well as free electronic deposits, balance enquiries and statements. However, all over the counter services in the branch are excluded from the maintenance fee.
Cost of transaction carried out at the branch*:
Transaction Cost for a single transaction
Interaccount transfers R30
Payments to a Nedbank account R45
Payments to an account at another bank R45
Balance enquiries R4
Transaction list R12
Source: Nedbank Savvy Plus Account
The Nedbank Product Suite current account from Nedbank Private Wealth has two options: the Gold plan and the Platinum plan. The Gold plan has a monthly maintenance fee of R76, while the Platinum plan has a monthly maintenance fee of R330. The over the counter transactions that are included in both of these plans are cheque deposits, a balance enquiry, a transaction list, and an interaccount transfer.
For other over the counter services, the fees are as follows:
Transaction Cost for a single transaction
Cash deposit R6 + R1.28 per R100 or part thereof
Cash withdrawal R25 + R1.28 per R100 or part thereof
Bank-guaranteed cheque R50
Bank’s own cheque R50
Stop-payment instruction R44
Special clearance of a cheque deposited in a branch R80
Immediate clearance fee R65
Archive image of deposit slip/cheque/statement for more than 90 days in a branch R11
Manual-payment fees: Nedbank to Nedbank R50
Manual-payment fees: Nedbank to other bank R90
Source: Nedbank Private Wealth
First National Bank
FNB Banking Channels revealed: “FNB’s Mobile and Online Banking strategy is to give customers the freedom to bank on their own terms without needing to go to branches or ATMs. Therefore, over 85% of transactions are available on digital channels.”
For many of the FNB accounts, the mobile and online banking services are free, whereas many of the over the counter banking services incur additional charges.
The FNB Gold Cheque account has a monthly fee or R95 for the unlimited option, and R105 for the standard option. For the standard option you need a minimum balance in your cheque account of R5 000, as well as a minimum balance in your linked Savings Pocket of R10 000.
For both of these options, you enjoy free online and cell phone banking subscriptions, allowing you to make free linked account transfers and payments using mobile and echannels.
However, you pay for most services carried out in an FNB branch (over the counter services). The monthly fees do allow for free scheduled repayments, both the establishment and amendment of these, for free. You also get your first official monthly statement that you collect from an FNB branch for free.
Over the counter services charges:
Transaction Gold Cheque account Platinum Cheque account
Cash withdrawals R43 + 1.61% of the withdrawal value R23 + 1.61% of the withdrawal value
Linked account transfers R43 R23
Payments R80 R80
Cancel debt order (stop payment) R43 R43
Cash deposit 1.51% of the deposit value (minimum R22) 1.51% of the deposit value (minimum R22)
Balance enquiries R4.20 R4.20
Historical statements older than three months R13 per statement R13 per statement
Provisional statement R13 per page R13 per page
Copies of vouchers (deposit slips and cheques) R20 per side R20 per side
Source: FNB Personal Pricing Guide
The FNB Private Wealth Account bundled pricing option allows for unlimited electronic transactions and unlimited FNB and non-FNB ATM cash withdrawals. The bundled account has a monthly account fee of R349.
Several over the counter services are included in the monthly account fee, such as stop payments, scheduled payments and balance enquiries.
Over the counter services that are excluded include:
Transaction Cost for a single transaction
Linked account transfers R43
Payments R43
Cash withdrawals R43 + 1.61% of the withdrawal value
Cheque deposits R20
Cash deposits 1.51% of deposit value (minimum R43)
Provisional monthly statement R13 per page
Cash Swap Fee (Swapping of coins for notes in Branch or visa versa) 1.61% of cash value
Source: FNB Private Wealth Pricing guide
“Transactions that cannot be done on digital channels include transactions that include original documentation and transactions that require proof of receipt via bank stamps (such as FICA),” added FNB Banking Channels.
To view a full list of FNB’s transactional costs, click here.
Standard Bank
The Standard Bank Elite banking account has a monthly management fee of R95. This includes a variety of services, such as unlimited electronic transactions, as well as one branch cash withdrawal.
For other over the counter services, the fees are as follows:
Transaction Cost for a single transaction
Cheque deposits R25
Cash deposits R11 + 1.25% of value
Cash withdrawals using a cheque card, credit card or debit card R33 + 1.35% of value
Branch inter-account transfers and account payments (to Standard Bank third parties) R42
Balance enquiries and mini-statements R6.50
Provisional statements R30
Transaction history: 60 days R33
Transaction history: 90 days R11
Transaction history: 180 days R50
Source: Standard Bank Elite Banking
The Standard Bank Private Banking monthly management fee is R325, including unlimited electronic transactions and two branch cash withdrawals, as well as free PIN-reset in the branch.
The over the counter fees that apply are:
Transaction Cost for a single transaction
Balance enquiries and mini-statements R6.50
Provisional statements R30
Transaction history: 60 days R33
Transaction history: 90 days R11
Transaction history: 180 days R50
Source: Standard Bank Private Banking Pricing
The fees charged for over the counter banking vary from relatively cheap to expensive. Before making use of over the counter banking, see which of these services are included in your banking fees, and which you will have to pay for.
Many of these services are also available via internet and cell phone banking, with some of the accounts at the various banks offering these services as part of your monthly banking fees, meaning that you don’t have to go into the bank at all and pay those additional fees.
*All fees accurate at time of publication, 4 May 2015
**Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank could not provide comment at the time of publication

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