How to reduce current account’s operating cost

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Current account appears to be the most expensive bank account to operate.

According to www.consumer.gov, you can reduce the cost of using your current account by taking the following steps:

  • Pay attention to what transactions or events are triggering fees

 Find out whether you may be able to alter your banking behaviour to avoid these fees. For example, you may save a few naira by using your bank’s ATMs rather than those of another institution, or by signing up for account alerts that help you stop from spending more than you have. Talk to your bank about possible solutions.

  • Avoid spending more than you have

Bounced cheque penalties can be significant, and overdraft fees are an especially costly way to borrow money. Keep careful track of the balance in your account and confirm that deposited funds are available before making a payment or withdrawal that may exhaust your account. Check your balance at the ATM before you withdraw cash, and see if you can sign up to get low-balance warnings via e-mail or text. You can also monitor your balance online.

  • Keep track of your account

Monitor your account online to keep track of what’s coming in and going out. If you have questions, ask your bank for an explanation. Review your account statement every month to make sure it’s correct. Report any errors immediately to your bank. Banks must tell you when they change their terms of service, so any time you get a piece of mail from your bank, read it.

  • Reduce monthly service charges

Know the minimum balance requirement. Ask if direct deposit or electronic banking can lower the monthly fee. See if the bank offers a low-fee current account for you, such as a senior’s or student’s account, or just a basic current account with a low minimum balance and a limited number of “free” cheques and withdrawals. You may also be able to avoid monthly maintenance fees by consolidating accounts and maintaining a higher balance.

  • Shop around

Get a copy of your bank’s list of account fees, or ask about them, then compare them with account fees at other banks. Assess your habits honestly and consider penalty fees, such as overdraft and non-sufficient funds charges, as well as monthly maintenance, ATM surcharge, and other service fees. When comparing banks, also consider factors such as the hours of operation, locations, access to public transportation, available products and services, and reputation for customer service.

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