Westpac is trying to win back your trust by slashing bank account fees
Article by Ben Tosi
Westpac customers, rejoice! The big four bank has announced plans to scrap the transaction limits on your personal bank account, slash your account keeping fees and have hinted at a potential partnership with digital payments platform, Apple Pay.
Speaking at the Trans-Tasman Business Circle Lunch in Sydney yesterday, the Head of Westpac Consumer Banking, George Frazis said that the banks had lost the trust of everyday Aussies.
“What I’m saying is that consumers have become all powerful. Banks — along with many other institutions in society — have come under closer scrutiny. And we’ve been found wanting,” said Frazis.
From November 1, approximately 1.3 million Westpac customers will have their personal account keeping fees capped at $5 and will no longer be hamstrung by limits on the amount of free transactions they can make in one month.
Commonwealth Bank and ANZ swiftly announced that they would follow suit, even if it is some time after NAB scrapped account keeping fees back in 2010. This continues the domino effect at play among the Aussie banking elite that resulted in all of the big four members to abolish ATM fees late last month.
Despite these high-profile cuts to bank account fees, there continues to be a host of fee free options available on the market. According to the Mozo database, 56 personal bank accounts had no fee, 39 came with a fee but also some form of waiver and just 5 of these accounts had mandatory fees.
Westpac customers will have to wait a little while longer, however, before they’re able to make purchases via their iPhones but Frazis insisted that a partnership with Apple is an inevitability.
“I have actually no doubt at some stage we will come up with an agreement with Apple Pay for Westpac customers," he said.
Frazis also noted that a “service revolution” was needed if banks wanted to get back in the general public’s good books, with these changes “just the start” of a wider commitment to simplicity and transparency in personal banking.
These comments, combined with the imminent arrival of instant funds transfers between bank accounts, certainly makes it look like Aussie banking consumers could soon be seeing brighter days.
Want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your bank account? Be sure check out Mozo’s Bank Accounts comparison tables to compare fees and features across a wide-range of accounts.