What is over the counter banking?

By Staff Writer

This article was updated on 10 September, 2021

With the rise of digital banking channels, most consumers are opting to forgo visits to their local bank – and the benefits are many. Over-the-counter banking, which refers to transactions conducted with a teller in a branch, is among the most expensive ways to transact.

Charges differ according to account and transaction type. Some transactional accounts include a few over-the-counter services in the monthly fees.

We investigated a set of regular transactional accounts, and private banking accounts, provided by Absa, Nedbank, First National Bank (FNB) and Standard Bank. These examples illustrate the cost of over-the-counter services, and demonstrate how service differs for regular and private banking clients.

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Absa

The Absa Gold Value Bundle has a monthly service fee of R109. Over-the-counter, or in-branch, transactions are not included in these fees. These are billed on a per-transaction basis.

The pay-as-you-transact fees for in-branch services with the Absa Gold account are as follows.

Transaction

Cost

Balance enquiries

R9.00

Full bank statement

R40.00

Deposit

R80.00 + R2.20 per R100

Withdrawal

R80 + R2.20 per R100

Account payments and funds transfers

R80

Source: Absa 2021 Pricing Brochure

For Absa private banking clients, some over-the-counter services are included in the monthly fees. For example, Absa Private Bank cheque accounts have a management fee option with a monthly fee of R460. This includes in-branch cheque deposits, cash withdrawals, account payments and fund transfers.

Over-the-counter services that are charged separately include the following.

Transaction

Cost

Cash deposit

R80.00 + R2.20 per R100

Mini-statement

R20.00

Full bank statement

R40.00

Balance enquiries

R9.00

Source: Absa 2021 Private Banking Brochure

Nedbank

The Nedbank Savvy Plus Account has a monthly maintenance fee of R115. This includes an array of free electronic payment options, and free electronic deposits, balance enquiries and statements. However, all over-the-counter services in the branch are excluded from this fee.

The cost of transactions carried out at the branch are as follows.

Transaction

Cost

Inter-account transfers

R99.90

Payments to a Nedbank account

R150

Payments to an account at another bank

R150

Balance enquiries

R15

Transaction list

R30

Source: Nedbank 2021 Pricing Guide

The Nedbank Platinum Product Suite Current Account from Nedbank Private Wealth has a monthly maintenance fee of R452.

For additional over-the counter-services, the fees are as follows.

Transaction

Cost

Cash deposit

R10 plus R1.80 per R100 or part thereof

Cash withdrawal

R70 plus R1.80 per R100 or part thereof

Balance enquiries

R2.00

Source: Nedbank Private Wealth Banking Fee Schedule

READ MORE: Banking errors: Are you giving your money away?

First National Bank 

Sajeel Jagjivan, head of pricing for Retail Consumer Banking at FNB, reveals, “Mobile and Online Banking strategy aims to give customers the freedom to bank on their own terms, without needing to go to branches or ATMs. Therefore, the majority of transactions are available on our digital channels.

“For many FNB accounts, mobile and online banking services are free, whereas many over-the-counter banking services incur additional charges. The app is also zero-rated.”

The FNB Gold Account is split into two offerings, these being FNB Fusion Gold and FNB Gold Unlimited. The former has a monthly fee of R89, while the latter goes for R109 per month.

FNB also offers a Premier Account that’s split up into two options. These are the FNB Fusion Premier Account, which has a monthly fee of R209, and a Premier Cheque Account which comes with a monthly fee of R219.

Both of these options include free online and cell phone banking subscriptions, enabling free linked-account transfers and payments using mobile and eChannels.

However, most over-the-counter services attract fees. According to Jagjivan, in terms of scheduled payments, the bank charges R18 for any establishments and amendments made by a consultant.

Over-the-counter service charges for the Gold and Premier accounts are as follows. They stay the same regardless of which Gold or Premier option you choose.

Transaction

Cost

Cash withdrawals

R80 + R2.50 per R100

Linked account transfers

R80

Payments

R80

Cancel debit order (stop payment)

R80

Cash deposit

R80 + R2.50 per R100

Balance enquiries

R1.75

Printing of statements

R40 per statement

Provisional statement

R18.20 per page (Gold only)

Copies of vouchers (deposit slips and cheques)

R80

Source: FNB Pricing Guides 2020/2021

The FNB Private Wealth Account, also split into two options, allows for unlimited electronic transactions and unlimited FNB and non-FNB ATM cash withdrawals. The FNB Fusion Private Wealth Account has a monthly account fee of R499, while the FNB Private Wealth Current Account is R529 per month.

Several other services are included in the monthly fee, such as real-time payments, send money, stop payments, scheduled payments, and balance enquiries.

Over-the-counter services associated with this account, no matter which option you choose, are priced as follows.

Transaction

Cost

Linked account transfers

R80

Payments

R80

Cash withdrawals

R80 + R2.75 per R100

Cash deposits

R80 + R2.75 per R100

Interim/Provisional statements

R18.20 per page

Source: FNB Private Wealth Pricing Guide

“Transactions that cannot be done on digital channels include those that require original documentation or proof of receipt via bank stamps (such as FICA),” adds Jagjivan.

To view a full list of FNB’s transactional costs, click here.

Standard Bank

The Standard Bank Elite Account has a monthly administration fee of R69. This includes a variety of services, such as unlimited electronic transactions and free Standard Bank ATM cash withdrawals up to R5,000.

For over-the-counter services, the fees are as follows.

Transaction

Cost

Cheque deposits

R55

Cash deposits

R18 per R1,000 or part thereof (minimum R60)

Cash withdrawals

R18 per R1,000 or part thereof (minimum R60)

Branch inter-account transfers and account payments (to Standard Bank third parties)

R75

Balance enquiries

R11

Source: Standard Bank 2021 Elite Account Pricing Guide

The Standard Bank Private Banking minimum monthly bundled fee is R369. This includes unlimited electronic transactions.

Some of the over-the-counter fees that apply are as follows.

Transaction

Cost

Balance enquiries

R11

Cash Deposits

R18 per R1,000 or part thereof (minimum R60)

Withdrawals

R20 per R1,000 or part thereof (minimum R70)

Account payments

R75

Immediate payments below R3,000

0.3% of value; min. R312 up to a max. of R1,560

Immediate payments above R3,000

0.3% of value; min. R312 up to a max. of R,1560

Stop orders

R20

Inter-account transfers

R75

Monthly statement (charged per 30-day period)

R32

Source: Standard Bank Private Banking Account Pricing Guide 2021

The fees charged for over-the-counter banking vary from relatively cheap to expensive. Before making use of these, check which services are included in your monthly fees, and which come at a cost.

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