Bank­ing

CityPress - - Business -

FNB is launch­ing the Fu­sion Premier ac­count which com­bines your credit card and cheque ac­count into one fa­cil­ity with one card. The ben­e­fit is that any­time you use your card, even if you are not ac­cess­ing credit, you earn eBucks based on a credit card spend rate which earns you more eBucks per swipe.

Per­son­ally, I am not sure about the real ben­e­fits, and you need to con­sider your bank­ing be­hav­iour first. Ef­fec­tively, it com­bines the fea­tures of an over­draft fa­cil­ity with a credit card and you get 30 days in­ter­est free on card pur­chases.

Cur­rently, over­draft fa­cil­i­ties tend to have lower in­ter­est rates than credit cards, so find out what in­ter­est rate you will be charged; FNB’s re­sponse is that credit rates are per­son­alised, so will de­pend on the client.

You will also be spend­ing your own money be­fore spend­ing the credit fa­cil­ity, as you would with an over­draft, but that re­moves the full ben­e­fit of the 55-day in­ter­est-free pe­riod you re­ceive on your credit card, which savvy bank­ing cus­tomers use by swip­ing their credit cards in­ter­est-free and then set­tling in full at the end of the month.

By com­bin­ing both your over­draft and credit card fa­cil­ity, it will give you a much higher over­draft avail­abil­ity which could mean you end up in tears if you are not keep­ing track of your spend­ing.

Re­mem­ber your next pay cheque would first go to pay the over­draft, whereas if you had a sep­a­rate credit card you could pay it off over time. You need to think care­fully about whether this of­fer­ing makes sense to you.

FEE IN­CREASES

While Premier and Pri­vate Clients will not ex­pe­ri­ence higher fees, there have been changes to the Easy and Gold ac­counts.

Pay-as-you-Use Easy ac­count cus­tomers will be pay­ing R5.25 per month, up from R4.95, for card trans­ac­tions and elec­tronic trans­fers, but will start to pay 40c for their InCon­tact SMS, which seems coun­ter­in­tu­itive as it is an im­por­tant fight against crime.

Ryan Prozesky, CEO of Value Bank­ing So­lu­tions at FNB, says the aim is to en­cour­age cus­tomers to mi­grate to the FNB App which pro­vides pay­ment no­ti­fi­ca­tions for free and which will soon have zero-rated data costs across all mo­bile providers.

This does as­sume that the cus­tomer has a smart­phone, which may be an is­sue in the Easy seg­ment which has smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion of around 50%.

Easy Bun­dle clients will be pay­ing R53 (R4 more) per month for their bun­dle of ser­vices and will also have changes to ATM with­drawal lim­its.

Pre­vi­ously the bun­dle in­cluded free un­lim­ited cash at till point with­drawals and four free ATM with­drawals.

This has been changed to a to­tal cash with­drawal limit of R3 000 per month ir­re­spec­tive of whether you

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