September 23, 2018 14:57

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Banks are in fierce competition in service fees

09:13 | 07/03/2018

VCN – In the context of fierce competition, the application of different policies on fees is one of solutions for banks to improve their service quality and attract customers. 

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Together with adjusting service fees, Vietcombank has provided new services with high quality and more utilities to customers.

Some banks increase while some banks decrease

From 1st March 2018, Vietcombank has applied a new fee schedule for individual customers, in which some transactions via e-banking must pay fees. Specifically, SMS Banking fees increased from VND8,800 to VND11,000 / month (VAT included). In addition, instead of free as before, the transfer service in Vietcombank via Mobile Banking application will cost 2,200 VND / transaction for less than VND 50 million and VND 5,500 VND / transaction for VND 50 million and more.

In addition, the transaction fee of Vietcombank also has been changed and classified according to the transaction value in direction of benefiting low money transfers and increasing fees for high-value transactions and cash transfer at the counter. Specifically, compared with the previous rates, the interbank transfer fee for less than VND 10 million has reduced slightly from VND 11,000 to VND 7,700. However, interbank transactions of more than VND10 million will be charged at 0.02% of the transaction value. Thus, if the interbank transfer amount is over VND 50 million, the transfer fees will be higher than VND 11,000, including VAT and up from the fee applied before 1st March 2018. And if the transfer amount is more than VND 100 million, the transfer fee will be up to VND 22,000. In addition, Vietcombank has started to apply account management fee at VND 2,000 / month.

Before Vietcombank, many other banks also made adjustments to increase service fees. Typically, BIDV raised the bank transfer fee from VND6,600 to VND7,000 for the amount of less than VND10 million; from VND12,000 to VND15,000 for the amount of VND10 million to VND500 million. Sacombank also increased Internet Banking fees for individual customers from VND 33,000 to VND 44,000 per quarter. VIB also started to charge for a variety of transactions instead of free as before. Some banks also proposed the State Bank to increase the transaction fee via the ATM system to compensate for costs of investment and upgrade of it, but their proposal has not been approved.

Meanwhile, to attract more customers, recently many other banks have announced the service fees at very low rates or free. Specifically, Techcombank continues to apply a free policy to all money transfer transactions in or out the system. This policy has been applied from September 2016 to now. Similarly, An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank is also free for money transfer in or out its system via online banking and mobile banking, while offering 0.2% of interest rate for online deposits. LienVietPostBank is also free for all Vi Viet accounts - a product of LienVietPostBank being operated as a digital bank - as well as receiving monthly SMS Banking. Interbank transfer fee of the Vi Viet is cheapest of the system with only VND 3,300 while this fee in other banks is from VND 8,800 to VND 11,000 dong.

Increasing fees to improve services?

In the reaction of the public opinion that the increase of service fees is not reasonable, Vietcombank said that now it is still one of the banks with the largest number of customers using Mobile Banking in the whole system. However, almost all of the customer transaction amounts via ebank are not more than VND 100 million per day, so the number of affected customers is not significant. In addition, the fee for interbank transfer via card was applied at the rate of VND 11,000 per transaction, now this fee is only VND7,700 for transactions of less than VND10 million. Account management fee even started at VND 2,000 VND / month but it is the lowest level in the market. In parallel with the adjustment of service fees, Vietcombank has provided many new services with high quality and more utilities to customers, and continue to give more incentives to their customers.

According to the report of the National Financial Supervisory Commission, net income from banking services in 2017 increased by 34.7% compared to 2016, including the contribution of increase in fees from payment service. In 2018, many banks continue to set targets to increase their revenues from services.

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According to a leader of a commercial bank in HCM City, banks are currently competing fiercely in the service field, but the increase in fees is inevitable. Accordingly, service fees are a tool for banks to attract customers at different stages. Some banks have chosen loss compensation to free customers. Instead, they shall collect customer deposit balances on low interest rates. Meanwhile, some other banks have increased their fees to meet capital requirements for investing and upgrading service quality as well as security system. In fact, the demand of customers for banking services is increasing, while this investment is very expensive.

By Khai Ky/ Huyen Trang