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Withdrawal fees – how SA banks stack up

Withdrawal fees – how SA banks stack up

Banking is a part of our day-to-day lives, and standing in front of an ATM to withdraw cash is an inevitability that few can avoid.

But how much is it costing you to access your money? And which South African bank offers you the most affordable way of doing so?

By looking at the banking fees for a basic current account from all the local banks, BusinessTech has compiled the following table.

The data does not take the various special offers each bank has in place for limited or unlimited free transactions into account, and is drawn from a basic, per-use price-point.

Native ATM withdrawal

Bank 2012/13 Fee
R1,000 Withdrawal
Capitec R4.00 R4.00
FNB R5.70 per R500* R11.40
Absa R3.85 + R1.10 per R100 R14.85
Nedbank R3.50 + R1.20 per R100 R15.50
Standard Bank R3.90 + 1,17% of value R15.60

* Capped at R22.80

Other ATM withdrawal

Bank 2012/13 Fee
R1,000 Withdrawal
Capitec R7.00 R7.00
FNB R6.50 + R5.70 per R500 R17.90
Absa R9.85 + R1.10 per R100 R20.85
Nedbank R9.50 + R1.20 per R100 R21.50
Standard Bank R6.70 + R3.90 + 1,17% of value R22.30

Capitec Bank operates on a fixed-fee structure for withdrawals, meaning that, unlike the competing banks, withdrawal fees aren’t affected by the amount you choose to take out of your account.

Absa and Standard Bank have the widest ATM network in South Africa, with Standard bank confirming they have around 7000 auto-teller machines spread across the country.

Capitec wouldn’t divulge an exact figure for their ATM network in South Africa when asked, but according to their website, the number is sitting at around 1300 machines country-wide.

Most notably, however, even when withdrawing from other banks with Capitec, it works out to be cheaper, overall.


Quinton is a business and technology journalist who dabbles in media and graphic design. He holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Johannesburg....

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Join the Conversation (23 comments)
  • Very Interesting

  • Mark

    Capitec have done their sums on the withdrawals from other banks. They also know that once their customer withdraws more than about R750, they make an outright loss on the transaction as the costs they incur (Read as the amount of money they need to pay over to the owner of the ATM) exceeds the income.

    • Lexel

      You pay for SASWITCH on top of that R7-00 you pay. But that fee’s are charged by SASWITCH and not Capitec. I got accounts at the four major banks, a foreign bank and Capitec and Capitec has the best fees and service of all the banks. Friendly staff and very helpful. The big four look who can be the unfriendliest.

      • Rob

        Our country is perhaps the only “1st World” nation where you are charged to deposit AND to withdraw your own money.
        I’m in the tourist business; and my clients are frankly incredulous that it costs us a huge amount to deposit our own cash….
        I’m with Standard and FNB; and FNB is by a huge margin the better of the two, but FNB got me to change by promising NOT to charge a cash deposit- and withdrawal fee.

        This has now changed, of course; and like the rest, they are now doing the same rip-off act.

        From what I can see, Capitec is way ahead; but I’m old enough to remember MASTERBOND; and I’m wary of going with a bank which is still so young – and which appears to be targeting the much-less-wealthy (and, by inference – the less well-informed)

        Does anyone out there have a compelling reason to trust Capitec…?

  • McTSA

    Capitec look really good in this comparison.

  • cpitec is the coolest and cheapest bank in south africa, yet they offer so great service. their marketing department is not doing a good job of marketing their excellent value proposition to south african consumers

    • Rudolfjvvuuren

      I agree, Capitec would score a lot more if they just marketed themselves more!

  • Jason

    I am moving to Capitec end of the month! I am with Standard Bank and paying over R60 per month in Bank fees is too much. I have looked at the Total Capitec charges PM and it seems like a very good deal

    • Rudolfjvvuuren

      That’s what I did about 3years ago (also moved from Standard Bank), and I’ve been a lot happier since!

      • Pieter

        Yes also plan to move away from Standard Bank after 33 years. They just get worse by the day!!!

        • SBSAE1

          I have also started moving my accounts away from Standard Bank after 25 years with them (unwilling, but they left me no option), and so far found FNB to be far better in all aspects!!

  • Francois Badenhorst

    I would really like to know if Capitec has a monthly “service fee” or something that you have to pay to have a cheque account with them for example? This would really make thing more clear. You cannot make a decision just based on ATM costs. Regardless of that fact, Capitech will probably still be the cheapest… If service and value is important to you – FNB.

    • Rudolfjvvuuren

      Last I looked on my account info they charged me R4 for my monthly service fee.

      • Rudolfjvvuuren

        ps- Capitec’s service and value is a lot better than what I got at Standard Bank.

  • Abdurrahman Memee

    Very Interesting

  • Krongii

    You didn’t mention that you can withdraw cash from your Capitec account at any Shoprite/Checkers or PnP (without buying anything) for a flat fee of R1.00

  • v_3

    I wonder if Standard Banks “7,000 ATMs” include the ones with limited functionality.

  • personally ive just got back to standard bank after a period at absa (i dont even wanna go there), to me the most important thing is convinience & a bank that appriciates my business & STANDARD BANK IS ALL THAT TO ME, i REALLY DONT CARE ABOUT FEES AS MUCH AS I DO ABOUT SERVICE & CONVINIENCE & BEING APPRICIATED BY A BANK. & with those 7000 atm now i know where some of those charges go 🙂

  • Djbrockman

    My Standard bank monthly fees averaged for 3 months at R220 per month. Capitec my monthly fees averaged at just below R20 per month…

  • Rob

    I needed a copy of a September 2011 statement; and had to ‘phone the bank… Response: “That’s over six months ago, so it will now be in the archives. We will make a copy for you – this will take three days; and cost you R20 per page…”

    With FNB internet banking, I can go back five years into any of my accounts; and print the document at no charge

    • Atweh

      which bank are you referring to here?

  • Capitec does what a bank is suppose to do , not charge me heavily for giving them a business!!! * changed to capitec two years ago from standard bank*

  • Tso

    Standard bank is the worst, they ate half of my money whenever I saved from my student acount. How can u take so much money from a student? Even when I had no money in my account they still charged me interest and it increased every month and before I closed it I had to pay interest for the account that I ddnt even use. From now on I am never gonna do any business with standard bank anymore!

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