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Opinion - Understand banking fees to save money

2021-02-04  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Understand banking fees to save money
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To help customers succeed in their financial goals this year, Bank Windhoek urges them to understand their banking fees to avoid unnecessary charges and penalties. Customers who understand their banking fees can learn to manage their accounts effectively and save money in the process.

Bank fees refer to any compulsory charges by financial institutions on the personal and business accounts of customers utilised for the set-up, maintenance, and transactional services related to the account. The bank may charge these fees annually, monthly, or on a pay-as-you-use basis. 
To help customers better understand banking fees and save money, below are some tips to consider: 

Keep a minimum balance:  Customers should keep at least the minimum balance required for their particular account. It helps to avoid additional monthly fees and accidental overdraws. Customers are advised to keep track of transactions and account balances to avoid unpaid debit orders and access fees.

Register for digital banking services: Online banking platforms are more cost-effective than over-the-counter banking transactions and far more convenient. These services include Internet Banking, Mobile App, Cellphone Banking, and EasyWallet. At Bank Windhoek, access to these services remain free of charge, and no individual cost per transaction applies if you have an account that charges a monthly bundled fee. And Electronic Statements are free of charge. 

Also, the Bank’s AlertMe SMS notifications for debit and credit transactions are free of charge. These alerts inform customers of all activity on their deposit accounts and reduce the risk of losses due to fraudulent transactions.

Responsibility on cards and account: Customers are advised to look after their cards to avoid unnecessary replacement fees for lost or stolen cards. They should also have all their day-to-day accounts at a single bank to avoid paying unnecessary service fees or bundled payments at multiple banks. And most importantly, customers must make sure to minimise transactional mistakes, as reversals can be expensive. 

Unique products: The Bank Windhoek Selekt Gold offering delivers bundled or Pay-as-you-Go transaction fee structures, access to a team of personal bankers, personalised SelektSaver Accounts at tiered interest rates, free life, legal and funeral cover, and value-added services.
A unique feature to the Selekt Gold offering is “My Savings”, which comprises access to all investment products within the Capricorn Group. It allows customers to have as many complementary SelektSaver Accounts as they would like, linked to their Selekt Gold Account, at no extra cost. Transfers can be done to your savings on the Mobile App.
Use only your bank’s ATMs: Customers should avoid paying additional by using their own bank’s ATMs which will help them save on transaction fees.

Know which services are free and use these instead: Bank Windhoek allows customers to open Savings and Transaction Accounts free of charge provided they meet the required minimum opening balance. The Bank Windhoek App has a free monthly subscription, EasyWallet service offers a free first daily withdrawal, and the Bank’s CellPhone Banking platform offers free Balance Enquiry, Mini Statement, and free Prepaid Electricity purchase services. Customers can use the following short codes to access Cell phone Banking: 
View your Bank Windhoek Account balance *140*295*1#
Buy MTC airtime for Prepaid MTC accounts *140*295*3*3*1#
Buy MTC airtime for PostPaid MTC accounts *140*295*3*4#
View your EasyWallet account balance *140*295*4*1# 
Understanding banking costs, including choosing the right banking transaction, can help customers save money in the long term. A notice, in a poster form in all branches and agencies, displays the Bank’s fees. It is also available on the Bank’s website.
* Hayley Allen is Head of Corporate Affairs at Bank Windhoek


2021-02-04  Staff Reporter

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