DURBAN - SMEs who do not pay attention to their bank accounts and pricing structures may be paying more on fees than they should.
Kenneth Matlhole at FNB Business says getting to grips with your business account and adopting the right banking behaviour can save you more on bank charges in the long-term.
He shares tips on how SMEs can save on bank charges:
The adequate bank account
When choosing a bank account, many small business owners mistakenly base their decisions on the monthly account fee, instead of a value proposition that best suits their business needs.
Although choosing a PAYU (pay as you use) pricing option with a low monthly account fee may be a viable option for a new business starting up, it’s important that they continually review their statements to check if a Bundled pricing option wouldn’t better suit the business’ needs.
A Bundle pricing option accommodates for a higher number of transactions. It further includes free card swipes and a number of free electronic, cash deposits, and Real Time Clearance.
Banks have different Bundle pricing options; therefore, businesses should opt for the right bundle with enough transactions to avoid out of bundle fees.
Matlhole said that to provide more value, the bank offers all its business customers, who are on the PAYU or Bundle pricing option, free value-added services to help them better manage their businesses i.e. Instant Invoicing, Instant Cashflow, Instant Accounting, Instant Payroll and eBucks Rewards for Business.
SMEs are increasingly embracing the cost-effectiveness, convenience and ease of banking digitally, from managing day to day banking, authentications, making and accepting payments.
Furthermore, digital payments, which include Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Real Time Clearance, and Card payments enable the flow of funds to be done much quicker, securely and with little to no reliance on visiting a bank branch.
Avoid cash deposit fees
Rather use EFT which allows customers to pay money directly into your business account to reduce high cash deposit fees.
“FNB business customers can also use ‘Cash Bundles’ a new cash depositing feature mainly for cash intensive customers where you can deposit a specific value of cash at branch and/ or at a bulk cash centre for a fixed monthly fee. An ATM which allows for Deposits can also be used for lower amounts,” says Matlhole.
Extract statements through digital channels
Getting statements electronically through digital channels is often free, but enables you to keep track of your transactions more efficiently.
"It is also advisable to thoroughly go through the statements every month and check if there aren’t any additional charges. This will further help you identify if your employees’ banking behaviour isn’t costing you more in charges," said Matlhole.
Lastly, encourage your employees to swipe your business cheque or credit cards when making office purchases, as this is often free, easy to track and manage, and there is linked rewards benefit, if you are registered for our eBucks programme.
Additional bank cards can be issued and managed for your key employees and linked to the business' account allowing them to withdraw cash, pay at point-of-sale devices, obtain balances/mini-statements at ATMs and perform transfers between accounts.