WINDHOEK - Banking fees have gone up with banks citing staff costs, rentals and security as the main reasons.
First National Bank (FNB) Namibia, the first to announce its annual increase in banking transactions, says it considered the volatility in the general economy and continued rising costs when deciding on the increases.
“[We are] aware that household budgets remain under pressure due to cost increases such as food, transport and electricity,” said Dixon Norval, the head of strategic marketing at FNB Namibia.
Thus the increases are on average below inflation and there are reductions in some instances, he said. The majority of increases have been limited primarily to what FNB calls “avoidable manual transactions”, which include cheque processing and in-branch transactions.
The bank says electronic transactions such as Online Banking and Cellphone Banking remain the most cost effective channels to the bank and FNB passes these efficiency savings on to customers in the form of lower fees or even free services. Point-of-Sale (POS) transactions, ATM transactions, debit orders and Scheduled Payments option remain unlimited at the usual monthly fee of only N$98.00 as part of the Unlimited Electronic Pricing Option (UEPO) on Lifestyle accounts.
Jaco Viljoen, Manager Product and Pricing at FNB Namibia says that this fee was not increased, but has been maintained for the past 5 years. “This is only one of the many pricing options we are delivering to our valued customers.”
FNB Namibia has earlier re-introduced CardWise Zero as their basic bank account product for the unbanked and under-banked segment. The accounts make it possible for people who have a low income or do not have a regular monthly income to open and benefit from a very affordable banking offering. FNB Namibia continues to offer free subscription to Online Banking, Cellphone Banking, Free inContact, which is the instant messaging system notifying customers of any movement on their accounts above N$100.