South Africa’s ATM fees highest in 27 countries

June 15, 2012
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An average ATM transaction costs 16.75 rand (about $2)/XINHUA
JOHANNESBURG, Jun 15 – South Africa has the highest average ATM cash and branch withdrawal fees among 27 countries, according to a survey published on Friday.

The survey by management consulting firm Accenture found that an average ATM transaction costs 16.75 rand (about $2) and a bank branch withdrawal is 38.44 rand (about $4.6).

In contrast, 18 countries, including the US and UK, charge nothing for ATM withdrawals and 14 charged nothing for branch withdrawals, according to the survey appearing in the Business Day newspaper.

Despite these high charges, the survey found 38 percent of South African consumers were satisfied with their main bank, above the global average of 36 percent.

South Africa fared a lot better with credit and debit cards, coming in eighth-best for credit cards and among the 10 countries offering free debit-card transactions at some banks, according to the survey.

It was an example of South Africa’s banking industry progressing to fiercer competition and increased transparency, said Vinolan Pillay, an executive for banking at Accenture.

“Recent banking price wars in SA resulted from calls for transparency around pricing and heated competition in the banking industry,” Pillay was quoted as saying.

“From a global perspective we will see the transparency requirements around pricing becoming more evident and customers and consumers becoming more demanding,” said Pillay.

The survey involved 10,000 customers in 27 countries.

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