Trending on social media right now are hidden bank charges, apparently, Absa Bank Kenya charges transactional alert fees charged at Ksh6. Other banks like Co-operative bank of Kenya charge up to Ksh42 for credit or debit alerts.
This bank is really on every coin in your banks 🤣 hadi alert ni 6 Bob 😳
PAYING FOR AN ALERT? pic.twitter.com/QDqwHvSJZA
— Beth Kasinga 🌴 (@beth_kasinga) January 3, 2023
These Banks and other financial institutions often charge these kinds of fees for various services, but some of these charges may not be immediately apparent.
Hi. We do charge for credit or debit alerts and the charge is kes 42 per alert. Thanks. ^KJ
— Co-op Bank Kenya (@Coopbankenya) January 3, 2023
Banks are notorious for hidden fees, in 2021, 12 banks were ordered by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK)to review their contracts over the inclusion of various hidden costs in the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs).
CAK undertook a review of the home loan contracts offered by 27 banks and found 12 to be in breach of regulatory provisions. The information provided to customers was deemed incomplete, unclear, and unfavorable.
Here are a few common hidden costs to be aware of when dealing with banks:
- Transactional alert fees: Another hidden charge to be aware of is transactional alert fees. These fees are charged for notifications you receive about your accounts, such as text alerts or emails about your account balance or recent transactions. While these alerts can be convenient, they can also come with a cost. Be sure to check with your bank to see if they charge transactional alert fees and, if so, how much they are. You may be able to opt-out of these alerts or choose to receive them less frequently to reduce the fees.
- Overdraft fees: If you make a purchase or withdraw money from an ATM that exceeds the balance in your account, your bank may charge an overdraft fee. This fee can be steep, and it’s not always easy to know when you’re at risk of incurring it.
- Inactivity fees: Some banks charge a fee if you don’t use your account regularly. This fee can be incredibly frustrating if you have a low balance or can’t use your account due to circumstances beyond your control.
- ATM fees: If you use an ATM that isn’t affiliated with your bank, you may be charged a fee for the transaction. This fee can add up quickly if you use out-of-network ATMs frequently.
- Maintenance fees: Some banks charge a monthly or annual fee for maintaining an account, even if you don’t use it very often.
- Credit card fees: Credit cards come with a variety of fees, including annual fees, balance transfer fees, and late payment fees. Be sure to read the fine print before signing up for a credit card to understand all of the fees you may be charged.
To avoid hidden charges, it’s important to be proactive. Here are a few things you can do:
- Read the fine print: When opening a new account or signing up for a credit card, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully. This will help you understand any fees you may be charged.
- Shop around: Don’t just settle for the first bank or credit card you come across. Shop around and compare fees to find the best deal.
- Ask questions: If you have any doubts or questions about fees, don’t be afraid to ask. Your bank should be transparent about any charges they may impose.
From what I have gathered, Standard Chartered Bank, National Bank, Standbic, Equity Bank, and I & M Bank don’t have these kinds of transactional alert charges, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have hidden charges. By being aware of hidden charges and taking steps to avoid them, you can save yourself a lot of money and frustration.