Just noticed on the NAB website that they are getting rid of overdraw/reference fees for good. This is unbelievably good news for one of the big four banks to do this, and vindication for Choice’s campaign against these unfair penalties.
Banks are not exactly organisations that anyone likes a whole lot, but NAB is doing some quite good things at the moment. I was also pleased to see that they struck a deal with the operators of the RediATM network to provide free access for NAB customers at those ATMs. Since RediATM is one of the largest ATM networks in Australia, it softens the inconvenience of the ATM direct fee charging model — and also vindicates the position the Reserve Bank took that the short-term pain of direct fee charging would be offset by long term gains in competition between ATM service providers.
I still find NAB a dowdy organisation to deal with when I have to actually go into one of their branches — they feel 10 years behind ANZ in terms of systems and processes, right down to the fact that ANZ has a ticketed queuing system so you can sit down and wait for your number to be called, rather than standing in line. But honestly, actually going into a bank is something I only have to do about four times a year, so I can deal with the tired old NAB branches when I have to.
On the other hand, NAB is the only one of the big four that still doesn’t offer mobile phone compatible internet banking — they instead offer SMS banking which, in my experience, is buggy and unreliable, and the tech support staff weren’t able to get things working right. Spokesperson Luisa Ford (who used to be one of my PR contacts at Optus) tells me to “watch this space” regarding phone-compatible internet banking at NAB, so hopefully this will improve.
Here’s the full text from the NAB:
October 1 will see the end of your overdrawn fees
From 1 October, NAB customers will not be charged a fee if they overdraw their everyday personal transaction and savings accounts. There are no disclaimers, we won’t go back on this decision or try and recoup these fees somewhere else.
We made this change because the way you use money has changed. With funds constantly moving in and out of your accounts and payday often falling on a different day of the month, it is easy to temporarily overdraw your account. By getting rid of these fees we hope to build stronger relationships with you and help you to do more with your money.
Below is a quick reference table that will help you understand what this means to your everyday banking.
|Fee||When it applies||Amount being abolished||Personal accounts these fees apply to|
|Reference fee||Applies when you make a payment that exceeds your available funds and NAB pays the transaction||$30 per day||Transaction
Some mortgage products
|Dishonour fee (outward payments including direct debit)||Applies when you make a payment that exceeds your available funds and NAB dishonours the transaction||$30 per item|
|Periodical non payment fee||Applies when a periodical payment is deferred or dishonoured due to insufficient available funds in your account||$30 per item|