It appears that South Africans’ need for cash is also one of their biggest unnecessary banking expenses. However, with small behavioural changes this could easily be eradicated.

There has been a strong movement away from cash towards digital platforms and cards in 2016.  However, despite a 12% increase in card swipes, compared to cash withdrawals, customers are still withdrawing money unnecessarily.

Cash is expensive as it needs to be printed, guarded, insured, manually handled and transported.  This means that unnecessary withdrawals will cost customers more in terms of banking fees when in fact paying fees for cash is something that is almost always entirely avoidable. It just requires a bit of planning and discipline.

Take note of your account type

If you have a bundled account, you will usually be allocated a certain number of withdrawals at your bank’s ATM. Make sure you are aware of how many you have and when you are reaching the limit.

Also beware of withdrawing at another bank’s ATM, no matter what account type you hold, as there is always an additional cost involved due to a charge levied between the banks.

Swipe or tap rather than using cash

Consider swiping your card rather than using cash.

There are some instances where a merchant or service provider will only accept cash, but in the vast majority of cases merchants will have a point-of-sale machine, and in this case the best option is to swipe.

Recently FNB introduced Contactless cards and FNB Pay, a payment solution which allows customers to purchase goods by simply tapping their Contactless card or smartphone on a contactless enabled point of sale terminal. For security reason the terminal might ask for a pin from time to time or even ask for the card to be inserted on a Contactless card.

Swiping or tapping will also attract rewards, opposed to using cash.

Use alternative cash withdrawal solutions

The best option is swiping your card. If you need cash, then do it when buying groceries by simply withdrawing at till. Not only is it convenient, but it is also significantly cheaper and has no minimum withdrawal amounts.

Withdrawing at till point is a win-win situation as the retailers benefit from channelling cash back to the consumer and stemming the high cost of cash-deposit fees as well as the costs of handling cash.

FNB customers drew R750 million in September 2016 from retailers such as Shoprite, Checkers and Spar across SA.

There are ways of getting cash without high fees. This small change in banking behaviour can save you money at the end of the month, as every cent counts.

Writer : Ryan Prozesky