Standard Bank South Africa has significantly reduced prices across personal current accounts.
"Standard Bank is passing significant cost savings back to customers by reducing prices by up to 50% and simplifying our product offering. We believe that our extensive customer channels, including self service channels, our comprehensive product offering and our significantly reduced customer prices, make us the most competitive bank in South Africa," says Peter Schlebusch, CEO of Personal and Business Banking at Standard Bank South Africa.
Standard Bank South Africa has revised its six personal current accounts by streamlining to four even more compelling products with additional benefits. This includes the new Elite package - the best value "Gold" account in South Africa - and the new Achiever Electronic account, both available from 2 April 2012.
"The Elite package price has been reduced from R179 a month to just R99, a 45% price reduction. The account includes real value adds, such as customers getting access to a second Elite account for spouses or life partners at a 25% discount, a gold cheque card, a gold credit card, reduced interest rates, and unlimited electronic transactions," says Mr. Schlebusch.
The Prestige Banking account (income from R25 000/pm) has been reduced from R209 to R169 a month, a 19% savings. Private Banking customers (income over R62 500/pm) will now have online share trading at a discounted rate. The Diners Club Card fee is also included in the monthly management fee of both Prestige and Private Banking customers, giving free access to airport lounges and concierge services.
The change will also help the banking costs of families and households, with an up to 56% discount on secondary accounts.
The eligible age for the Consolidator account has been lowered from 60 to 55 years, and costs only R41 per month with a rebate option which means customers could essentially bank for free.
In the income segment below R8 000, Standard Bank South Africa also recently launched the new AccessAccount, a transaction account with no minimum monthly management fee and very competitive pricing. Existing Eplan and Mzansi customers have not had any fee increases this year.
"All the accounts have transparent, simple pricing structures, with no hidden costs. Importantly, they give customers the additional value they really need in transactional banking products, rather than add-ons that aren't necessarily relevant and that often end up costing customers more," says Mr. Schlebusch.
"Standard Bank understands the changing needs and behaviours of our customers. Thanks to our focused strategy of cost reduction, improved efficiency over the past few years, and customers actively choosing to use our self service channels, we can provide our customers with an improved offering at significantly lower prices. These are full service bundles with value that meet their needs, and do not carry any hidden fees," Mr. Schlebusch says.
Standard Bank South Africa has made significant investments in improving its technology which has brought costs down. For example, acquisition costs have been reduced by in some cases 60% through paperless account opening procedures.
"Improved technology has allowed Standard Bank to do more and do it better, especially on self service channels. We have seen customers choosing to make better use of electronic channels with 26 times more payment transactions occurring electronically, rather than through the physical branch network."
In addition to self service channels, Standard Bank South Africa is increasing its footprint and now has close to 10 000 Access Points (points of representation within informal businesses such as spaza shops), 105 loan centres, 633 branches, and 8 030 ATMs. "Our customers expect quicker solutions to financial needs, which we will provide through ensuring the most convenient and accessible customer channels and efficient processing environments," says Mr. Schlebusch.
Standard Bank South Africa also continues to grow its customer base. In 2011, Standard Bank South Africa opened 1.3 million net new accounts. This growth provides better economies of scale with benefits that can be passed back to customers.
All existing personal current account customers will automatically be moved to the new lower price offering, which comes into effect on 2 April 2012.
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