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Digging into FNB’s 2018 price changes

Not everything’s increasing; there are some decreases too …
Picture: Supplied

FNB has increased the monthly account fee on its popular Premier bundle (and Fusion account) for the first time since 2014. From July 1, the cheque account and credit card (including facility service fees) will cost R209, from R199 previously. This upper middle market account offers customers “private clients”-type benefits, such as access to a dedicated pool of bankers as well as airport Slow Lounge access. Fees for FNB’s Private Clients and Private Wealth bundled accounts increase by 5% and 11% respectively.
 
On its middle market Gold Account, monthly account fees remain at R105, after last year’s increase – the first in three years. This is arguably the most competitive market segment in the country. Fees on the mass market Easy Bundle jump 9% after the 8% increase 12 months ago, while the base fee on the entry-level Easy Account is up to R5.75 (from R5.25 in 2017 and R4.95 in 2016). It has held fees steady on the FNBy youth account which it launched last year.
 
Ryan Prozesky, CEO of FNB Consumer Core Banking, asserts that FNB is the only bank that absorbed the VAT increase in April, so any increases are not as steep as they appear and that those fees which remain the same are actually cheaper.

 

Monthly Account fee

 

 

1 July 2018

1 July 2017

Change

Private Wealth (Bundled/Fusion)

R470

R425

11%

Private Clients (Bundled/Fusion)

R385

R365

5%

Premier (Bundle/Fusion)

R209

R199

5%

Gold Account (Unlimited)

R105

R105

Easy Bundle

R58

R53

9%

Easy Account

R5.75

R5.25

10%

FNBy (18-25)

R10

R10

FNBy (under 18)

Free

Free

FNB’s full pricing guides are available here.

The other ‘usual’ increases

Cash-related fees continue to increase, although bundled-accounts customers get cash withdrawals up to a certain amount free (using its ATMs or Cash@Till). These are: R9 000 per month on Premier Bundle (Fusion), R7 000 on Premier Unlimited, R5 000 on Gold Accounts and R3 000 on the Easy Bundle (or FNBy for over 18s).
 
Pay-as-you-use pricing for withdrawals (or for non-bundled accounts) is a flat rate of R1.60 for Cash@Till (from R1.40 last year), R1.90 per R100 for FNB ATMs (from R1.85/R100) and, at other banks’ ATMs, a fee of R9 plus R1.90 per R100 (R8 + R1.85/R100).
 
While it has seen some success in driving customers to use Cash@Till instead of ATMs, use of the retail channel is not yet at the level FNB wants. But the end goal, says Prozesky, is not cash at all, rather the card swipe.
 
Steep charges for in-branch cash deposits which incentivise customers to use ATMs with automated deposit functionality increase to R60 + R2.10 per R100 (from R60 + R1.90/R100). On bundled account options, cash deposits at ATMs are free up to the same thresholds provided for withdrawals (e.g. R9 000 per month on Premier Bundle/Fusion).
 
The bank says that over the past year, it has driven down the volumes of cash deposits and withdrawals at branches in its mass/middle market Easy and Gold base by 55% and 28% respectively.
 
Prepaid electricity purchases on its digital channels will cost R2.50 from 1 July (R1.95 currently) as will playing the Lotto. MultiChoice payments, a very popular transaction in the mass market, are up from R6 to R6.50.
 
Fees for sending money to an eWallet are now segmented. For values under R1 000, a fee of R10.95 applies, while values over R1 000 cost R13.95 (this was previously flat-rated at R10.95).
 
Most in-branch transactions that are easily done on online/mobile channels (such as linked account transfers, payments, cancelling debit orders) are R70 from July, from R65 or R55 now.
 
While in-branch printing of statements will cost R27 from July (R25 currently), the price to print statements at those ATMs which accept cash deposits remains frozen at R3.50 per page. Prozesky says that since it introduced this far cheaper option last year, 70% of statements historically printed in-branch have migrated to ATMs.
 
Stand-alone (or non-bundled) credit card fees also increase across the board.

 

Monthly Account Fee

Credit Facility Service Fee

 

2018

2017

2018

2017

Gold Credit Card

R32

R31

R16

R15

Premier Credit Card*

R71

R65

R16

R15

Private Clients Credit Card*

R183

R165

R16

R15

Private Wealth Credit Card*

R233

R205

R16

R15

* Free on Bundled pricing option

Some decreases, too

From 1 July, customers will be able to cancel debit orders for free on FNB’s online/mobile channels (this currently attracts a fee of R5). The other major change in pricing is that card replacement fees are now flat-rated at R100 (from R140 in most cases and R90 on Easy). The bank says it has worked hard to improve the delivery experience, and standard courier delivery remains free for Gold, Premier, Private Clients and Private Wealth customers. These clients are disincentivised from having cards delivered to branches: this now attracts an additional fee of R100.
 
From July, Private Clients Bundle customers receive a free bundled Global Account Debit Card (in one currency) which allows overseas withdrawals or point-of-sale purchases in dollars, pounds or euros (swipes are free, while cash withdrawals attract fees). The card also offers 10 free annual visits to over 800 airport lounges globally.
 
Airtime purchases
 
Here, pricing is different for practically every account segment. All Premier customers are now able to make airtime purchases for free on the app and online banking (previously, this cost R1.20 and was only free on bundled accounts). Using cellphone banking (USSD) or ATMs will cost R2.50 from 1 July.
 
FNB is driving airtime purchases away from ATMs and cellphone banking, and Gold (and FNBy 18-15) customers will now pay R2.50 for these transactions. Purchases via the app or online banking remain free.
 
For entry-level (Easy) and under 18 FNBy customers, the bank will now charge a flat fee of R1 for any airtime purchases under R10, and R2 for airtime purchases over R10. Previously, this was 60c per R5 airtime to a maximum of R1.80. On the Easy Bundle option, customers get their first 10 prepaid airtime purchases, (external) debit orders or payments free.
 
* Hilton Tarrant can still be contacted at hilton@moneyweb.co.za.
 
* He owns shares in FirstRand, first purchased in July 2011.

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Not bad at all.
I’m my whole working life, I’ve made one stupid banking dicision and that was change from gold to premier just for a fancier card. I didn’t take the credit card though, odd to notice that the standalone account isn’t mentioned in these price change articles. I love my card but there’s no way I’m taking our a credit card.

Please do an article on the EBUCKS levels as THE qualifying criteria has changed again. Also the number of tickets that one can purchase has been reduced making it really ridiculous if you want to go on a family holiday . I always used that once a year to go on a family holiday.

eBucks analysis will be up on Moneyweb later today/tomorrow.

The monthly account fee on premier is nil if you keep >R50k in the account at all times, about the same as the interest earned on such a balance.

Did you say keep more than 50k in the account?

Yep, R50K. Not sure if you can’t get more than R209 a month elsewhere with that balance.

R50K for twelve months with African bank promises 8.75% a month which is R352. Much better deal.

Um – except when the bank failed then it was a little more than R200 pm. But point taken. Of course the bank fee is a pre-tax benefit whereas I need to pay marginal taxes on the interest earned which dilutes it below the benefit value. But yes, there are cheaper alternatives around for the same service, just noting that it is waived on a balance.

They’ve been trying to get me to upgrade to private clients for a year now and that won’t be happening – I still love swiping my not so fancy gold card not the silver or black one they think I am worthy to have.

Looking at the eBucks scoring and realised one actually needs to take number of product offering in credit (revolving loan, credit card, smart device, overdraft,car finance, etc) to get to the highest level.

WILL PASS

ebucks rewards wise we are much worse off

The biggest ones are….

– online shopping % reward cut in half, now same as instore swipes – strange since I would have thought they wanted to encourage online shopping

– no more grocery allowance @ 5% earn and the monthly limit been incorporated into normal shopping swipes

– can only earn ebucks @ Engen for fuel – not ideal if using BP / Shell for Discovery fuel rewards

– increase in amount to hold in savings & investment products to get ‘points’

Also the best 40% discount saving which is Dischem appears to only be on offer for about 3 days….guess they run a capped limit

….but still for me the best bank and rewards program but worse off with the changes.

End of comments.

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