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FBC Listens To Customers & Removes Annual Fees For Prepaid Cards

A fortnight ago, FBC took the curious decision of adding annual fees to their prepaid cards, with individuals and businesses expected to pay $15 and $20 respectively.

It was a curious decision for a number of reasons; firstly FBC risked angering customers who would then go to other banks who offer similar cards without any annual payment. Lastly, whilst I don’t know for a fact how many FBC clients are using the prepaid card but I doubt the number would bring great returns, especially after a number of people would ditch the card because of the fees.

Anyway, FBC decided to hit a u-turn before their decision came back to bite them and sent messages to prepaid cardholders informing them that their cries were heard and the annual fees were being scrapped about three weeks after being put into effect:

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Dear valued customer, your feedback is important to us, you spoke, we listened. We are no longer going to charge annual fees on MasterCard cards.

FBC message to prepaid card holders

I think this is a great move and for all the talk of banks putting customers at the centre of their solutions, this is one of the rare occasions where we see the banks walking the talk.


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5 thoughts on “FBC Listens To Customers & Removes Annual Fees For Prepaid Cards

  1. Our banks, like government, concentrate on reaping where they did not sow. In the beginning, (pre-Mthuli times), FBC charged you an initial fee for the card, transaction fees and $1 per month. In the end cards were always empty to avoid this charge. They then removed the monthly charge and card usage and adoption began to increase.

    I think now they had garnered more users, someone hatched a plan to put the fee back. They probably had a PowerPoint presentation and a beautiful graph of how from X card users, the bank could magically generate USD $20 X revenue without lifting a finger.

    The board members and management hailed this person as a visionary and forward thinker, subsequently approving implementation. Budgets for motor vehicles and perks were drawn up and all was good.

    Unfortunately, these days, customers are not such a push over. As well there are legal issues of baiting and switching initially agreed terms of service.

    1. That’s the problem, sometimes instead of focusing on customer experience the focus is entirely on 0s in the bank account

  2. Cards are about getting commission for usage, just that, they are not accounts. If one wanted an account with the bank they would open one, which am sure also comes with a mastercard linked to it if one so wishes.

    FBC needs to realise that people want visa and mastercards which are not linked to any account for several reasons…
    1. You just put in what you need to pay (plus commission) at a point in time, you pay, then forget you even have a mastercard (This is very important in a country where the Gvt is always raiding deposits)
    2. Not linking a card to an account, or keeping a card without funds you do not intend to use, is an added layer of security against cyber criminals.
    3. You do not want to pay the rent… having an account and keeping funds with banks apparently comes with all sorts of financial punishments (gone are the days when you got a little reward for keeping your money in a financial institution).

    It is the 3rd reason that FBC seems not to appreciate as being one of the reasons why their prepaid mastercard was warmly welcomed. Glad they humbled themselves and did the right thing.

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