Which South African Bank is the Cheapest in 2017?

Comparison of 2017 bank fees in South Africa

Which is the cheapest South African bank account out there? We did a comparison of the fees structure of the four major banks: Standard Bank, ABSA, FNB and Nedbank’s fee structures for 2017. For ease of comparison, we used the cheapest pay-as-you-use option from each bank. Please note that these are personal banking accounts, so they will not be available to legal entities (companies, closed corporations and trusts).

 

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. Please note that none of the below is intended as financial, legal, medical or any other professional advice. If you require professional advice, please contact a relevant specialist. Although substantial care has been taken in the writing of this article, we do not accept liability for any errors, omissions, etc. Use of the information provided is solely at your own risk.

 

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What is included and what is not (plus some other general terms and conditions):

Standard Bank

R4.99

Minimum monthly fee

on Access Account

Minimum opening balance of R20; minimum opening deposit of R50

No monthly subscription fees for internet and cellphone banking

Getting money into your account: Electronic transfers are free.

Making payments from your account: Swiping your card; electronic transfers (to your other Standard Bank accounts) and internal debit orders are free.

Notifications: Free subscription to MyUpdates

What will cost you money? Depositing cash; withdrawing cash; making payments online; payment confirmations; other transactions listed in the pricing guide.

You should consider a bundle if you do any of the following: Use the card for anything other than making card payments at retail stores.

Consider getting in addition to your existing bank account if: Honestly, this package is not recommended due to very high transaction fees.

FNB

R4.95

Minimum monthly fee

 on Easy Plan

Must be 16 years or older; South African ID; proof of address (<3 months)

No monthly subscription costs for online and cellphone banking

Getting money into your account: Electronic transfers are free.

Making payments from your account: Swiping your card; drawing cash at designated till points; electronic transfers (to your other FNB accounts) and internal debit orders are free.

Notifications: Free subscription to inContact

What will cost you money? Depositing cash; withdrawing cash (other than at designated tillpoints); making payments online; payment confirmations; other transactions listed in pricing guide.

You should consider a bundle (from R49 per month) if you do any of the following: You deposit more than R5506 cash per month at the ATM; withdraw more than R2381 cash per month from the ATM or from a branch;  you have more than 5 debit orders; or a combination of these.

Consider getting in addition to your existing bank account if: You need to draw cash often (drawing cash at designated tillpoints is free with FNB); if your debit orders are more expensive than R3.50

Nedbank

R5

Minimum monthly fee

on Pay-as-you-use Account

Minimum balance of R50

No monthly subscription costs for online and cellphone banking

Getting money into your account: Electronic deposits are free.

Making payments from your account: Swiping your card; electronic transfers (to your other Nedbank accounts) and internal debit orders are free.

Notifications: Subscription to eNote is optional and is charged per transaction.

What will cost you money? Depositing cash; withdrawing cash; making payments online; payment confirmations; other transactions listed in the pricing guide.

You should consider a bundle (from R100 per month) if you do any of the following: You withdraw more than 47 times from a participating retailer's tillpoint; you have more than 19 debit orders, or a combination of these.

Consider getting in addition to your existing bank account if: Your debit orders are more expensive than R5

ABSA

R4.95

Minimum monthly fee

on Transact Account

You will be required to close any other ABSA transactional accounts

No monthly subscription fees for internet and cellphone banking

Getting money into your account: Electronic transfers are free.

Making payments from your account: Swiping your card; electronic transfers (to other non-transactional ABSA accounts) and internal debit orders are free.

Notifications: Charged per transaction

What will cost you money? Depositing cash; withdrawing cash; making payments online; payment confirmations; other transactions listed in the pricing guide.

A transact account is intended for people who earn less than R2000 per month. If you earn more, you should have a look at the Flexi Account (from R16 per month).

Consider getting in addition to your existing bank account if: This package is not recommended as you are required to close other transactional accounts with ABSA in order to qualify.

 

From the above, it is clear that all the accounts offer very similar “included” benefits at a virtually identical price. They all offer free point-of-sale card swipes; online inter-account transfers and internal debit orders. However, what really distinguishes these accounts from one another is how much they charge for “extras”.

 

“Extras” pricing for 2017 bank charges:

Standard Bank

R4.99

Minimum monthly fee

on Access Account

Cash deposit at bank's own ATM:

R1.60 per R100*

Cash deposit at branch:

R8 plus R1.60 per R100*

Cash withdrawals at bank's own ATM:

R1.60 per R100*

Cash withdrawal at branch:

R35 plus R1.60 per R100*

Cash withdrawal at another bank's ATM:

R6.70 + R1.60 per R100*

Cash withdrawal at a participating tillpoint:

Not available

Online account payments:

R1.50

Scheduled online payments:

R180 plus R0.2%, max R900

e-Mail proof of payment:

R1.10

External debit orders:

R9.50

Rejected ("bounced") debit orders:

R210

FNB

R4.95

Minimum monthly fee

on Easy Account

Cash deposit at bank's own ATM:

R0.80 per R100*

Cash deposit at branch:

R1.85 per R100* minimum R60

Cash withdrawals at bank's own ATM:

R1.85 per R100*

Cash withdrawals at branch:

R1.85 per R100* minimum R60

Cash withdrawal at another bank's ATM:

R7 plus R1.85 per R100*

Cash withdrawal at a participating tillpoint:

Free

Online account payments:

R3.50

Scheduled online payments:

R3.50

e-Mail proof of payment:

R0.80

External debit orders:

R3.50

Rejected ("bounched") debit orders:

R8.50

Nedbank

R5

Minimum monthly fee

on Pay-as-you-use Account

Cash deposit at bank's own ATM:

R4 + R1.40 per R100*

Cash deposit at branch:

R4 + R1.40 per R100*

Cash withdrawals at bank's own ATM:

R6.50

Cash withdrawal at branch:

R1.40 per R100* minimum R40

Cash withdrawal at another bank's ATM:

R8 + R0.70 per R100*

Cash withdrawal at a participating tillpoint:

R2

Online payments:

R3

Scheduled online payments:

Not stated

e-Mail proof of payment:

R0.80

External debit orders:

R5

Rejected ("bounced") debit orders:

R10 per incident, up to R40 per month

ABSA

R4.95

Minimum monthly fee

on Transact Account

Cash deposit at bank's own ATM:

R3.95 + R1.95 per R100*

R8 + R1.55 per R100* minimum R30

Cash withdrawals at the bank's own ATM:

R5

Cash withdrawal at branch:

R55 + R1.60 per R100*

Cash withdrawal at another bank's ATM:

R8.50

Cash withdrawal at a participating tillpoint:

R1.15

Online payments:

R2

Scheduled online payments:

Not stated

e-Mail proof of payment:

R1

External debit orders:

R3.50

Rejected ("bounced") debit orders:

No charge

 

Nedbank also offers cash deposits at participating tillpoints at R1.40 per R100.

 

A couple of things you should know:

  • * Charged for every part of a R100
  • FNB’s pricing structure runs from 1 July – 30 June each year, while the other banks structures runs from 1 January – 31 December each year.
  • All these banks reserve the right to change their pricing structure with reasonable notice. This may vary from bank to bank. FNB stipulates 20 business days.

 

Based on the above, it appears that:

  • FNB’s Easy Account offers the best value for pay-as-you-use banking, across all the sampled daily services, other than for online payments, which is the most expensive. Their charges are the cheapest for cash deposits (at the bank’s own ATMs) and for cash withdrawals (free at participating tillpoints).
  • Nedbank appears to compete on personal service, as their branch and consultant-assistant transactions are generally significantly cheaper than those of other banks.
  • Standard Bank wishes to discourage low-income earners from using its products. They do, however, seem to offer the best value on online payments.
  • ABSA reserves its “discounted” banking for truly low-income earners.

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