2020 banking fees compared: Capitec vs Absa vs Standard Bank vs Nedbank vs FNB

South Africa’s big banks have all published their fee schedules that will carry through to 2020.

Absa, Standard Bank and Nedbank are the latest to publish their fees, which will come into effect on 1 January 2020, while FNB, Capitec and Discovery Bank published updated fees earlier in the year, which will continue until their review periods in the new year.

Below we’ve looked at how the banks compare on several transactions, including the basics like how much they charge you to put money in, and take money out of your account.

The accounts compared are all Gold equivalents, bundled, where applicable. Withdrawal and deposit fees are based on out-of-bundle prices, for a single R500 transaction.

Monthly Fees

Monthly account fees have become the battleground for most banks in the “race to zero” – however, this has only really played out in the entry-level offerings by the banks. In the mid-market, fees have gradually gone up year after year.

The mid-level accounts offer limited bundles of transactions to try provide value for customers who may not be withdrawing cash every other day.

Capitec, which is an entry-level and mid-market account (and has always played in both spaces), wins out with its entry-level monthly fees. Discovery, with its compulsory Vitality Money premium attached (at R15 per month), comes out as most costly, despite its base bundle fee being R105.00 per month.

Withdrawal Fees

Withdrawal fees have always been a contentious point for banking customers, and a highly competitive spot for the banks. Over time, banks have moved away from a formula that takes a set fee plus a percentage portion of the amount being withdrawn, to a simpler formula of a fixed fee per R100 note.

As such, the banks are pretty much evenly priced here – with the exception of Capitec (which has a fixed fee per R1,000) and Discovery and FinBond, which stick to the previous generation of fee structures, taking a percentage portion of the amount being withdrawn.

However, because all ATMs are ‘other ATMs’ for Discovery and FinBond, this formula carries over to this comparison too, and actually works to their benefit in this comparison, where they appear cheaper than their competitors.

Banks typically charge a fixed ‘other ATM’ fee on top of the standard withdrawal fees, which pushes the cost of withdrawing cash up quite significantly. Here, Absa’s fees are the most punitive for those who can’t find a native Absa, or Absa-supported ATM.

Deposit Fees

For 2020, Nedbank has reduced its deposit fees at Nedbank ATMs to zero, meaning it takes the crown for the cheapest bank to deposit with. FNB and Capitec are matched on the same price structure, while Absa and Standard Bank, too, have similar structures.

Discovery does not have an ATM network to receive cash deposits. FinBond only allows branch deposits, accounting for its slightly higher fees.

Fee changes

The graph below shows the periods through which the fees below are valid. FinBond did not provide a guideline for when its fees would be updated, but confirmed that the fees below will be valid into 2020.

The prices below reflect the charges on banks’ mid-level (gold-equivalent) accounts where applicable. TymeBank, African Bank MyWORLD, Old Mutual Money and Bidvest Bank GROW accounts have been excluded as they are purely entry-level accounts.


Absa Gold Cheque Bundle 2019 Fees R500 transaction in 2019 2020 Fees R500 transaction in 2020 % Change
Withdrawal (Native) R4.50 + R1.50/R100 R12.00 R2.00/R100 R10.00 -16.7%
Withdrawal (Saswitch) R10.50 + R1.50/R100 R18.00 R11.50 + R2.00/R100 R21.50 +19.4%
Withdrawal (POS) R4.50 R4.50 R2.00 R2.00 -55.6%
Deposit (ATM) R4.50 + R1.60/R100 R12.50 R2.00/R100 R10.00 -20.0%
Debit order (internal) Free Free
Debit order (external) R19.00 R19.00
Account fee (PAYT) R107.00 R107.00

Absa’s full 2020 pricing can be found here.


Standard Bank Elite Account 2019 Fees R500 transaction in 2019 2020 Fees R500 transaction in 2020 % Change
Withdrawal (Native) R1.85/R100 R9.25 R1.90/R100 R9.50 +2.7%
Withdrawal (Other) R9.00 + R1.85/R100 R18.25 R9.00 + R1.90/R100 R18.50 +1.4%
Withdrawal (POS) R2.00 R2.00 R2.00 R2.00
Deposit (ATM) R1.85/R100 R9.25 R1.90/R100 R9.50 +2.7%
Debit order (internal) R4.50 R4.50
Debit order (external) R18.00 R18.00
Account fee R105.00 R107.00 +1.9%

Standard Bank’s full Elite 2020 pricing can be found here.


Nedbank Savvy Account 2019 Fees R500 transaction in 2019 2020 Fees R500 transaction in 2020 % Change
Withdrawal (Native) R2.00/R100 R10.00 R2.00/R100 R10.00
Withdrawal (Other) R8.00 + R2.00/R100 R18.00 R10.00 + R2.00/R100 R20.00 +11.1%
Withdrawal (POS) Free Free Free Free
Deposit (Intelligent depositor ATM) R1.00/R100 R5.00 Free Free -100%
Debit order (internal) Free Free
Debit order (external) Free Free
Account fee R110.00 R115.00 +4.5%

Nedbank’s Savvy Plus 2020 pricing can be found here.


FNB Gold Cheque Account 2018/19 Fees R500 transaction in 2018/29 2019/20 Fees R500 transaction in 2019/20 % Change
Withdrawal (Native) R1.90/R100 R9.50 R1.90/R100 R9.50
Withdrawal (Other) R9.00 + R1.90/R100 R18.50 R9.50 + R1.90/R100 R19.50 +2.7%
Withdrawal (POS) R1.60 R1.60 R1.60 R1.60
Deposit (ATM) R0.95/R100 R4.75 R1.00/R100 R5.00 +5.2%
Debit order (internal) Free Free
Debit order (external) Free Free
Account fee R105.00 R109.00 +3.8%

You can find FNB’s 2019/20 pricing guide here.


Capitec Global One 2018/19 Fees R500 transaction in 2018/19 2019/20 Fees R500 transaction in 2019/20 % Change
Withdrawal (Native) R6.50 R6.50 R6.00/R1000 R6.00 -7.7%
Withdrawal (Other) R8.75 R8.75 R8.00/R1000 R8.00 -8.6%
Withdrawal (POS) R1.60 R1.60 R1.00 R1.00 -37.5%
Deposit (ATM) 95c / R100 R4.75 R1.00/R100 R5.00 +11.1%
Debit orders R3.70 R3.50 -5.4%
Account fee (PAYT) R5.75 R5.00 -13.0%

You can review Capitec’s full 2019/20 pricing here.


Discovery Bank Transact Gold 2018 Fees R500 transaction in 2018 2019/20 Fees R500 transaction in 2019/20 % Change
Withdrawal (Native ATM) R4.50 + 1.5% of amount R12.00 n/a
Withdrawal (Other ATM) R4.50 + 1.5% of amount R12.00 n/a
Withdrawal (POS) R2.00 R2.00 n/a
Deposit (ATM) n/a n/a n/a
Debit orders R3.75 R3.75 n/a
Monthly account fee R120.00 n/a

You can view the Discovery Bank Gold Transaction Account fees here.


FinBond FinSave Bundle 2018 Fees R500 transaction in 2018 2019/20 Fees R500 transaction in 2019/20 % Change
Withdrawal (Native ATM) R10.00 + 0.9% of amount R14.50 n/a
Withdrawal (Other ATM) R10.00 + 0.9% of amount R14.50 n/a
Withdrawal (POS) R3.50 R3.50 n/a
Deposit (ATM) R2.50/R100 R12.50 n/a
Debit orders R2.50 n/a
Monthly account fee R80.00 n/a

You can view the full FinBond fees here.


Read: 10 things South Africans says will make them switch banks

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2020 banking fees compared: Capitec vs Absa vs Standard Bank vs Nedbank vs FNB