If you happen to have a bank account at the German bank Sparkasse Soest, you may be paying for any click you make on the bank's online banking site.
What would you say if your bank asked you to pay 1 cent -- that is 0,01 Euro -- for any click you make on its online banking site regardless of what you do there actually?
This is what is happening in the German town of Soest, and for customers of the local Sparkasse. Not all customers are asked to pay, but those with an online account are.
Customers pay 3.50€ already per month for the online account, and on top of that 1 cent per click they make on the online banking site.
So, regardless of whether that click leads to transactions or just information, customers have to pay up for the privilege of accessing the bank's pages.
It gets even more interesting when you compare the price to the regular account pricing of the Sparkasse Soest. Regular customers -- that is those that don't have an account they can use online exclusively -- pay 5€ per month and are not charged per click when they use the online banking.
This means that customers who do pay may pay more than regular customers if they click more than 150 times in any given month.
The bank's argument for charging customers per click? Because of background processes that cost money.
German banks need to provide all customers with free access to their bank balance at any time. This is obviously not the case for the per-click online account. The Sparkasse offers online customers free access to local bank statement printers however.
Things may get even worse for online customers of the bank, as it plans to increase the cost per click by 100%. This would result in having to pay $0.02 per page opened on the online banking pages of the Sparkasse Soest. (via Soester Anzeiger)
I first thought this was a late, or early, April the 1st joke. It would have been a good one, but it is unfortunately reality.
While it is quite bothersome to switch to another bank, it would probably be the first thing that I'd do if my bank would start charging me for such nonsense.
Now You: What's your take on this? Have similar stories to share?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.