As the Bank of Montserrat Limited (BOM) prepares to take over operations of the local branch of the Royal Bank of Canada, it has released a new schedule of fees, to assist in harmonising its services.
BOM Manager Baldwin Taylor told ZJB Radio News that the fees, which came into effect February 1, 2021, serve three main reasons.
Taylor wants customers to migrate to using other services such as point-of-sale devices available in local supermarkets, express deposit, ATM withdrawals, rather than standing in lines at the local bank in Brades.
The bank plans to launch it’s mobile banking app on Friday of this week.
While in-bank charges are higher, there are cheaper alternatives such as using the ATM which is free and eliminates standing in lines as the bank, explained the bank official.
As BO will be taking over RBC customers as early as April 2021, the fees were adjusted to unify their rates. Taylor said they looked at both operations and came up with a schedule which will benefit customers. He revealed that RBC customers paid much higher fees and will benefit from the reductions at BOM.
Online banking is free and so is the mobile banking application. Third-party payments attract a one dollar charge and wire transfers conducted online are $5 cheaper than standing in the line to do so.
The bank manager said they are giving active consideration to adding Visa and Mastercard services at their ATM, which currently only allows for local account withdrawals. In the interim, customers wishing to withdraw monies on their credit cards can do so at the tellers during working hours.
Taylor told ZJB Radio News that they needed to weigh the cost of providing the service, which attract an initial set up costs of almost EC$1 million and annual recurring fees of EC$300,000. Based on current customer transactions and numbers, there was no way for the Bank of Montserrat to recover those costs. “From a cost-benefit standpoint it does not make sense,” the manager explained.
Many residents, including ex-pats and citizens who receive pensions from the USA and Canada have relied on the RBC ATM to withdraw cash from their foreign accounts. The BOM manager encouraged credit card users to use the point-of-sale machines available in local supermarkets and other businesses, as they accept both Visa and Mastercard.