Schlepping into an FNB branch is a pain, and it'll cost you

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Schlepping into an FNB branch is a pain, and it'll cost you

The bank has a rather strange policy when it comes to collecting cards from its branches

Consumer journalist


Thanks to digitisation, we have very few reasons to pay a visit to a branch of our bank.
And the banks like it that way, which is why transacting in a bank usually carries a “penalty” fee.
But in order to transact online and in stores we do need physical cards – debit and credit – and they have to make their way into our hands somehow.
You’d think that if there was a fee to pay, it would be applied to the service of having a card delivered to our home or workplace – not if we choose to schlep to a branch to collect it. That’s certainly what freelance journalist and trainer Raymond Joseph assumed. He recently wanted to collect his FNB credit card from the bank’s branch close to his home rather than have it delivered to him, because he needed it urgently for a business trip and was unable to be at his home office to accept delivery at a specific time.
“I got two calls from the courier company over two days wanting to deliver the card to my home,” he said. “Both said there would be a R250 charge if I wanted to collect it from my branch.”
Joseph tried very hard to get an explanation out of the bank for this policy, but all he got was a series of unmet promises to come back to him. “I have no doubt that I am not the only client who is upset with FNB over this policy. When I tweeted about it several people who had been affected by this weighed in.
“FNB asks: ‘How can we help you?’ It’s very simple – do what is best for your customers, not what suits the bank.”
I did get a response from the bank: “FNB offers customers a free standard courier delivery service … providing customers with an option to receive their cards at any place instead of collecting at an FNB branch.”
So why the charge to collect in a branch – R199 from July 1, according to the bank?
“The reduction of card deliveries to branches is in accordance with the bank’s business and digital migration strategy, which continues to benefit customers from a convenience and cost-saving perspective.”
Joseph’s response can best be summed up as “huh?”
“It’s more convenient for me to fetch my card from the branch. I’m convinced that the policy is designed to reduce client traffic in branches, and to achieve this, they would rather inconvenience clients who have to make special arrangements to accept home deliveries.”
Is FNB the only bank to charge its clients a fee for wanting to collect their cards from a branch of the bank, as Joseph suspects?
Yes.
Here’s what the competition does:
Absa: No fee for collecting cards in a branch.
Customers are charged R175 to have their debit cards delivered to them.
Credit cards are couriered free of charge or R458 for same-day “emergency” delivery.
Nedbank: Free collection in branches.
Free delivery of Platinum, Professional, and Private Wealth cards.
R155 fee to deliver Gold cards to anywhere in SA.
Standard Bank: Free collection of cards at a customer’s chosen branch.
Delivery by courier to their chosen address and time costs R151.32.

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