Customers benefit as banks launch cost-effective banking solutions.
The banking industry is certainly seeing an increase in competition, with the launch of TymeBank earlier this year and with the imminent launch of Discovery Bank.
As part of the increased competition for lower-cost banking, African Bank recently announced the launch of its MyWORLD Transaction Banking account. Like TymeBank it is a digital offering but provides a range of products including transactional banking, personal loans, savings and investments, and insurance.
It has no monthly fees and one can have up to five additional accounts linked the main account. Price seems to have been a major driver behind the product design and CEO of African Bank, Basani Maluleke says that based on the Solidarity Bank Charges Report methodology, they are now the cheapest transactional account in South Africa.
When a you open a MyWORLD account, you get access to a primary account and two types of “pockets” — a Power Pocket and a Savings Pocket.
According to African Bank, a Power Pocket is unique in that it is the first Pocket account in the industry to offer the user full transaction capability. It comes with its own account number, debit card and PIN and earns 5.5% interest per annum on positive balances. This allows for multiple functionality and users.
A “Pocket User”, who can be anyone that the primary account holder designates, can be added to both a Savings Pocket and a Power Pocket. User status allows the person full access to the pocket. The primary account holder can also decide who is responsible for the pay-as-you-use transaction fees on each pocket. This feature could be useful for parents to give their children a bank card or could be given to a family member they are supporting financially.
The primary account holder can add up to 10 members on any pocket. As this person is a “member” and not a “user” they can add money to the account and view the balance, but may not make any withdrawals. This functionality can be utilised by informal savings clubs, church groups and any collection of people wishing to save together for a shared activity.
The Savings Pocket allows the primary account holder to save at 6.5% interest per annum on any positive balance while enjoying immediate access to their funds.
According to African Bank, MyWORLD operates on African Bank’s Omni-channel platform that allows accounts to be opened and managed seamlessly through all the bank’s channels, including the website, app, cellphone, in the branches and through its contact centres.
“Our debit cards are personalised and embossed and are issued instantly on demand, in any African Bank branch,” says George Roussos, group executive of digital and transactional banking at African Bank.
A customer can open a MyWORLD account online or via the app without having to visit the branch and seamlessly complete the application in a branch or contact centre. The only reason to come into a branch is to generate and receive their MyWORLD debit card.
There are no monthly fees and no fee when using your card to make purchases, but there are pay-as-you-use fees. The fees are competitive, particularly when it comes to declined fees, at only R3 per declined transaction. However, any disputed transactions carry a hefty price tag.
This article first appeared in City Press.