Friday 10 July, 2020

Scotia to introduce real-time billing

Effective August 1, Scotiabank will discontinue its policy of calculating fees on a monthly basis and instead implement real-time fees on transactions in an effort to provide greater transparency to its customers.

The new banking policy was largely based on ongoing customer feedback, according to an emailed notice sent to Scotiabank’s customers from President and CEO David Noel.

Scotia said the change would help customers to better understand and manage the Scotia’s charges to deposit accounts.

“We will simplify the way we charge fees. Fees will now be charged in real-time so it will be easier for you to understand exactly what you are paying for,” the notice said.

The change in billing means that when a customer completes an ATM withdrawal, the ATM transaction fee plus General Consumption Tax (GCT), will be generated and billed immediately to their account.

“This change gives you full transparency on each service charge and gives you the flexibility to better manage and take control of charges to your account. You will only incur charges for the transactions you conduct,” Noel said.

Over the years, there has been an outcry from Scotiabank’s customers about “excessive” fees and charges from the banking institution.

Scotia has since been promoting its online and mobile banking transactions options, which comes at no cost to the retail banking customers.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Jamaica, Scotiabank has been targeting business customers, who the bank says, could see a reduction of up to 60 per cent in annual banking fees. Business customers could also see significant reductions in processing times for some transactions if they utilize online banking options, according to Scotia.

Underscoring the reduction in costs, Scotia shared that businesses could benefit from up to 17 per cent reduction in wire transfer fees if done electronically.

Similarly, cheque payments could cost up to J$385 in fees per cheque, while online deposit payments cost only $8 per transaction - a reduction of approximately 98 per cent.

As an incentive to get businesses to join the online banking platform, the bank is now offering three months’ free access for new entrants and a waiver of the onetime onboarding fee.

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