The cheapest entry-level bank accounts in South Africa

All of South Africa’s retail banks have made significant changes to their fee structures to help make basic banking more accessible to South Africans.

Following closely on the model pioneered by Capitec – who cornered the low-end banking market with its simplified, fixed-fee account – most competing banks have adopted similar models.

This can be seen particularly in cash withdrawals, where both Absa and Nedbank have adopted a single, stable transaction fee, compared to the fee at FNB and Standard Bank, which changes depending on the amount withdrawn.

Carrying the lowest monthly fee and withdrawal fee, Absa’s Transact account is now South Africa’s most affordable offering for those who seek a simple account from which to retrieve their money.

R500 withdrawal from SA banks:

  • Absa – R5.00
  • Capitec – R6.00
  • Nedbank – R6.50
  • Standard Bank – R8.00
  • FNB – R9.25

Putting money into an account is a different story, however, where FNB and Capitec vie for the ‘most affordable’ title.

R500 deposit at SA banks:

  • Capitec – R4.50
  • FNB – R4.50
  • Standard Bank – R8.00
  • Absa – R10.70
  • Nedbank – R11.00

Absa also takes the crown in offering the most affordable withdrawal option at till points and points of sale, charging R1.15 per transaction.

The bank is also the only other bank (aside from Capitec) to offer a set fee for withdrawals at other banks’ ATMs.

The table below outlines the entry-level banking offering from South Africa’s retail banks.

For a breakdown of mid-level (‘gold’) accounts, you can read: South Africa’s 2017 banking fees compared

South African entry-level accounts

Bank Account Monthly Fee Withdrawal (Native) Withdrawal (Other) Withdrawal (POS) Cash Deposit (ATM)
Absa Transact R4.95 R5.00 R8.50 R1.15 R3.95 + R1.35/R100
Standard Bank Access R4.99 R1.60/R100 R6.70 + R1.60/R100 R1.60 R1.60/R100
Nedbank PAYU R5.00 R6.50 R8.00 + R1.85/R100 R2.00 R4.00 + R1.40/R100
FNB Easy R5.25 R1.85/R100 R8.00 + R1.85/R100 R1.40 R0.90/R100
Capitec Global One R5.50 R6.00 R8.50 R1.50 R0.90/R100

Read: Capitec reveals credit card growth – targets richer clients

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The cheapest entry-level bank accounts in South Africa