It’s easier than you think
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.