Cash deposit fee hits small business

Small business customers of the Commmonwealth Bank will face a new handling fee for any cash deposits.

The fee of 0.25% will apply from April 2 for those making deposits of $3000 or more over the counter. The fee will affect thousands of small retailers and others who deal mainly in cash. For example, the fee for a $5000 cash deposit would be $12.50 under the new fee schedule. The fee is designed to cover large cash deposits from small businesses which take much longer to count due to varied denominations, also a source of complaint from other customers.

The move may lead to business owners keeping more cash on the premises to avoid exceeding the $3000 limit, increasing the risk of robbery, or trying to avoid the fee altogether by making more deposits of smaller amounts under $3000.

The Commonwealth said the fee will affect less than 10 per cent of its customers and that they would be able to avoid the charge by placing their cash in envelopes for counting at a later time – this system is yet to be introduced and will also incur a fee.