ABSA is to ramp up its
efforts to target the unbanked segment of the South African market
with the launch of the Transact account.

ABSA said that the Transact product will
feature no penalty fees, charges for point of sale till
transactions and no charges for balance enquiries or airtime top

Arrie Rautenbach, head
of Retail Markets at ABSA said:

“Transactions will be
charged on a pay as you transact basis and will be extremely easy
to understand. Till point withdrawals are ZAR1.00 ($0.14) per
transaction, electronic payments and debit orders are ZAR2.85 and
an ATM cash withdrawal will cost ZAR3.85.

“Depending on a person’s
banking behaviour, charges will be very affordable.”

ABSA will promote
Transact from all of its 748 branches; customers will also have
access to more than 8,000 ATMs.

ABSA – together with its
traditional retail banking rivals, FirstRand, Standard and Nedbank
– has lost ground among the entry level banking customer segment to
fast growing Capitec in recent years.

Founded little more than
10 years ago and with a focus on the unbanked and underbanked
sector of the market, Capitec kicked off 2012 by opening its
500th branch. It plans to open another 200 branches in
the next three years.

FirstRand has also upped
its game in this sector of the market. It ended 2011 with 150
EasyPlan 150 branches, primarily aimed at the lower income sector
of the market.