The banks have agreed to waive Saswitch fees. Picture: 123RF/DOLGACHOV
The banks have agreed to waive Saswitch fees. Picture: 123RF/DOLGACHOV

SA banks have decided collectively, through the Banking Association SA (Basa) to waive all Saswitch fees so you can withdraw cash from any bank ATM, regardless of which bank you are with.

Normally, if, for example, you bank with Standard Bank and make a cash withdrawal from an Absa ATM, you would pay the usual withdrawal fees as well as a punitive fee for using another bank’s ATM — this is known as the Saswitch fee.

However, given the restrictions on travel during the coronavirus lockdown, the banks have agreed to waive these fees.

Banks will also waive ordinary bank fees for all grant recipients who will be able to draw their cash at any ATM without any deductions.

Cas Coovadia, MD of Basa, says Basa members provide accounts for 11.3-million Sassa beneficiaries.

“Excluding the SA Post Office, our banks have close to 400,000 points of service. This means Sassa beneficiaries will have more options for collecting their grants, including using ATMs at reduced costs,” he says.

For March grant payments, some Sassa beneficiaries may still be charged fees because banks cannot implement these technical changes at such short notice. If fees are charged, they will be refunded by the Sassa beneficiaries’ bank.

What will you save?

Ordinarily, if you use a rival bank’s ATM instead of your own, you can expect to pay almost double in bank fees. We used an example of a R500 withdrawal on middle-income bank accounts: