Over-the-counter fees are fees charged by banks when a transaction occurs in a branch. Over-the-counter fees can also be called staff-assisted fees. They are common when a customer makes deposits, withdrawals or transactions at the counter in a branch.
Commonly, these fees are changed for transactions that are free online or via phone without staff assistance. A great way for customers to avoid over-the-counter fees when withdrawing, depositing or sending money is to use either their bank’s ATM or online or phone banking services.
The cost of over-the-counter fees is quite low, but they can easily add up over time if a customer likes to do transactions in a branch rather than online or via phone banking. They are often an avoidable cost, because not all banks charge over-the-counter fees; many offer free over-the-counter or staff-assisted transactions.
Which banks charge over-the-counter fees?
Many Australian banks have waived over-the-counter fees as a way to attract customers. Although over-the-counter fees are not large amounts, they present a significant savings opportunity for customers who bank in branch regularly. Fee information can usually be found on a bank’s website – normally in a ‘fees and charges’ guide.
Before you apply for a bank account, it is important to check with the institution whether the product is right for you, and whether over-the-counter fees or any other fees will be charged.
Some banks will charge handling fees for cheque withdrawals and branch deposits, but will not have fees for the handling of money.
There is no one-size-fits-all bank account, so when it comes to fees, it is important that customers make sure that the benefit they receive outweighs the costs.
How to find a bank without over-the-counter fees
RateCity provides product information on many of Australia’s banks.
Bank account details and comparison tools can be found on the bank accounts page. For a full overview of the bank account, click through to the product page.
What other fees do banks charge?
Banks can also charge fees for handling notes, coins or cheques, for sending money at the counter via a bank transfer, or in other situations where a staff member’s assistance is required.
If a bank charges a fee for sending money via bank transfer at the counter, customers might want to take advantage of online or telephone banking, which will probably be free. Some ATMs will even allow money to be deposited and then sent to another account.
Statement-printing fees are also widely enforced by banks; they charge customers to print out statements from previous months. These fees are also avoidable, as most banks will give you a digital copy of a statement at no cost.
Many bank accounts come with account-keeping fees; these are usually charged monthly or annually. There are banks that don’t charge account-keeping fees so it is important for consumers to check with their banks before opening new accounts.