There was an uproar two weeks ago when FBC customers who hold a prepaid MasterCard received an SMS from the bank informing them that now they had to pay an annual fee in addition to the now very steep transaction fees they already pay. FBC has now revealed they are not going ahead with this annual fee charge.

Dear valued customer, your feedback is important to us, you spoke, we listened. We are nolonger going to charge annual fees on Mastercard cards.

FBC’s latest SMS to customers in which they reverse their earlier decidions.

Under the new conditions, individuals would have been levied an annual charge of $15 USD per day while business holders of the card would be expected to pay $20 per year. It’s not really clear how they wanted to charge this.

Would customers be made to pay a monthly fee or would the charge be levied once? Back when it was introduced to the market in 2011 there was a time when the card had a monthly charge of $1 associated with it.

With transaction charges of $3 per transaction, FBC is now probably the most expensive card anyway

FBC were the pioneers when it comes to the prepaid cards that were easy to get and could be used for anything including online payments, payments at foreign POS and withdrawing cash. Their card came onto the scene back in 2011. The only competition they had was from, MBCA’s (now NedBank) Travelex card which did not work online.

Back then they could do what they wanted, most people were using debit cards such as StanChart’s Visa which were not exactly cheap. Now that USD era is gone and the market is teeming with prepaid Visas and MasterCards, they can no longer afford to alienate customers with ill-thought rash measures.

Currently, the card already comes with a minimum charge of $3 USD per transaction, making it very unattractive for small payments. Adding an annual fee would have been the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. Customers would flock into the arms of the competition.