It’s eas­ier than you think

DRUM - - Advice -

ARE you keen to change banks but wor­ried it may be too com­pli­cated? Don’t stress, we’ve got you cov­ered. We tackle ques­tions peo­ple com­monly ask when they’re think­ing of switch­ing bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions.

1 HOW DO I KNOW WHICH BANK WILL BE BEST FOR ME? To choose the best ac­count op­tion, you need to get a sound pic­ture of your bank­ing habits.

Cer­tain peo­ple have many debit or­ders, and oth­ers draw cash of­ten or send money to their fam­ily. Find out how much your reg­u­lar trans­ac­tions cost, what the monthly ad­min fee is, how many branches, ATMs or till points there are in your area, and how user-friendly the web­site and/or bank­ing app is if you trans­act on­line.

Then com­pare the costs and ben­e­fits of the same type of ac­count at dif­fer­ent banks. This in­for­ma­tion is usu­ally on the bank’s web­site but can be hard to de­ci­pher, so it’s best to visit a branch and ask some­one to ­ex­plain ev­ery­thing to you. 2 WHICH DOC­U­MENTS DO I NEED TO SWITCH BANKS? You’ll need proof of your home ad­dress, your green ID doc­u­ment or ID card and three months’ bank state­ments from your cur­rent bank as proof of in­come. But it’s best to ask the bank it­self.

For ex­am­ple, newly es­tab­lished Tyme­Bank only re­quires fin­ger­prints – their ID ver­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem is di­rectly linked to the depart­ment of home af­fairs, where your details can be ver­i­fied. And Capitec no longer re­quires proof of res­i­dence. 3 WILL IT COST ME MONEY? No, there’s no cost in­volved in mov­ing to an­other bank. The only re­quire­ment might be that you have the min­i­mum amount avail­able to open a spe­cific ac­count – but it’s still your money. 4 WILL THE BANK TRANS­FER MY BEN­E­FI­CIA­RIES AND DEBIT OR­DERS TO MY NEW AC­COUNT PRO­FILE? They can but it’s usu­ally faster to do it your­self. Ask your new bank to no­tify you via SMS when ev­ery­thing has been trans­ferred and is re­flect­ing on your ac­count. 5 WILL THE NEW BANK TAKE OVER MY SHORT-TERM CREDIT LOAN? Some­times. But check what the new in­ter­est rate will be as well as how long the re­pay­ment pe­riod will be. It might be more af­ford­able in the long run than keep­ing your loan with your old bank. 6 WILL MY NEW BANK DE­LIVER MY CARDS AND DOC­U­MENTS? You can opt to have them couri­ered to you but you’ll need to present proof of ad­dress and your ID upon de­liv­ery. Some­times it’s eas­ier to col­lect them from the bank your­self. 7 WHAT ABOUT LET­TERS OF CON­FIR­MA­TION? You’ll need to get your new bank to give you proof of your new ­ac­count details, and your old bank will need your ap­proval to pro­vide your new institutio­n with details of your debit or­ders. Your em­ployer will also re­quire proof of your new bank­ing details to pay your salary into your new ac­count. 8 WHAT ELSE DO I NEED FROM MY OLD BANK? Once you’re con­vinced you want to close your ac­count, you’ll need the fol­low­ing – the past three months’ bank state­ments, a list of debit or­ders from your ac­count, a list of all the ben­e­fi­cia­ries linked to your ac­count, and in­for­ma­tion about any cards or other ac­counts linked to this ac­count. Keep copies of all this in­for­ma­tion. 9 HOW LONG SHOULD MY OLD AC­COUNT STAY AC­TIVE FOR? It takes time to switch banks and it’s best to keep your old ac­count open for at least six weeks to en­sure ev­ery­thing goes smoothly and ev­ery­thing has been trans­ferred be­fore you close it. 10 WILL SWITCH­ING HAVE AN IM­PACT ON MY CREDIT PRO­FILE? Not if you’re opening an or­di­nary trans­ac­tional ac­count. But if you’re opening a new ac­count to ac­cu­mu­late more credit card debt or to get a loan, this debt will re­flect on your credit record.

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