How can you reduce your banking costs with neobanks?

According to one study, only 20% of French people know exactly how much their bank account costs them if they're asked. This figure speaks for itself: either they don't really care how much they spend on bank charges, or they find it hard to keep track because it's so confusing. With ever-increasing fees and multi-page price brochures, customers are understandably confused. But the arrival of neo-banks and online financial institutions on the banking market has also heralded the arrival of transparent, straightforward rates that are much lower than those charged by traditional banks. Here's how a no-bank account can reduce your banking costs.

What's behind the term "bank charges"?

Bank charges are levied by a bank as remuneration for services rendered or interventions for incidents on an account, such as overdrafts or bank rejections. They are intended to remunerate the advisor's work in managing the account and intervening when necessary. The term "bank charges" covers :

  • Means of payment: bank cards and chequebooks;
  • Payment transactions such as transfers ;
  • Account management ;
  • Access to an Internet space to consult your accounts or manage your transactions
  • Fees charged for payment incidents such as unauthorized overdrafts, exceeding authorized overdrafts, or rejected direct debits or checks... ;
  • Insurance for means of payment ;
  • Stop payment orders.

Note: even in traditional banks, most transactions are carried out electronically, and advisors rarely carry out the analysis for which the bank levies the intervention fee when the balance is exceeded.

Account management at a ridiculously low price

Bank account fees are charges levied by the bank to manage the account. According to the banks, this rather vague definition actually covers all the costs associated with the IT and human resources used to manage the account.

While most traditional banks charge account maintenance fees of between €12 and €30/year, most neobanks do not. In fact, 100% online account management by the customer enables digital players to limit internal account management costs.

Cheaper payment methods at an online bank

The bank card

Whereas a traditional bank generally lets you choose your bank card, a neobank offers just one. This is often a card whose parameters can be managed online, or a card with a high limit. The card offered is usually a Mastercard with immediate debit and systematic authorization.

On the price side, the fee at a traditional bank can range from a few dozen to several hundred euros a year, depending on the range of cards you choose and the banking establishment. For a joint account, a second card can also be provided at a preferential rate. On the other hand, neobanks and online financial establishments generally offer fees that are 50% lower than those charged by banks.

The transfer

Unlike cheques, transfers are widely favored by digital financial institutions. As a result, they generally offer domestic transfers free of charge, whereas some banks charge several tens of cents for external transfers. International transfers are often offered at very attractive rates, as is the case withAnytime, which charges only low commissions.

No balance overrun fee

The Anytime account has no overdraft authorization. As a result, there are no intervention fees as there are in traditional banking establishments. The only charges that may be applied are for transactions refused for insufficient balance.

Note that the rates for certain intervention fees are regulated by the government, but banks usually apply the maximum rates, which can quickly add up :

  • For a transaction on an account with a balance below the authorized overdraft, the commission may not exceed €8 per transaction, with a ceiling of €80 per month.
  • The maximum charge for a direct debit or TIP rejection is €20.
  • For a cheque rejected for insufficient funds: if the amount of the cheque is less than or equal to €50, bank charges are capped at €30. If the amount of the cheque is over €50, bank charges are capped at €50.

Packages containing the essentials

Most banking services are grouped together in packages, whether in traditional banks or online services. In the case of traditional banks, which offer a wide range of services, these packages generally include additional services that are often superfluous. For example, you'll benefit from a better rate on your bank card, or a free subscription to the Internet space, compared with the a la carte rates. But with these additional services, the bill rises and the package is no longer necessarily the cheapest alternative.

Online financial institutions and neobanks also offer service packages, but these include all the important services and leave no room for the superfluous. In this way, you can benefit from affordable rates and still have access to all the services you need.

Simplified management, an offer that's not very customizable, but complete and offered at a very affordable price: these are the features that enable neobanks to offer lower banking fees while benefiting from optimized ease of use.

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