Absa announces new banking fees for 2021

Banking group Absa has announced its new fee structure for 2021, following a full pricing review.

The bank’s fee changes historically align with South Africa’s other big banks – Standard Bank and Nedbank – which would typically see price changes come into effect from 1 January of any given year.

However, last year Absa said that given the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown on its customers – as well as shifting customer habits – it would do a comprehensive pricing and services review for 2021.

“In line with our strategic ambitions and commitment to remaining relevant to the rapidly changing needs of our customers, Absa is implementing a raft of pricing changes that will provide significant value to our customers, as the country contends with the devastating economic impact of Covid-19,” the bank said.

From 1 March 2021, a new-look pricing structure will come into effect, which includes:

  • Student Cheque Accounts will carry no monthly fee;
  • No increases to monthly fees for Absa core accounts (Transact, Gold Value Bundle, Premium, Private);
  • Free point of sale withdrawals;
  • Lower digital payment fees;
  • Free accidental cover for 12 months.

The free accidental cover will be offered to Absa Banking App customers, it said, and will pay a lump sum of R100,000 to a nominated beneficiary, should the policyholder die in an accident over the policy period.

“The various pricing options we offer are designed to suit specific customer transactional behaviour,” the bank said.

“Choosing the right pricing option is almost as important as choosing the right product. A customer who performs frequent electronic transactions should consider a value bundle as opposed to pay-as-you-transact, for example,” it said.

While the bank has waived certain fees, and kept monthly charges unchanged from 2020, there have been price increases, particularly around withdrawal and deposit fees at ATMs.

The tables below outline the key differences between Absa’s 2020 pricing and 2021 pricing, based on core costs (ie, out of bundle), for a R500 transaction.

You can view Absa’s full 2021 pricing schedule here. Absa’s new pricing comes into effect 1 March 2021.


Entry-level account

Absa Transact Account 2020 Fees R500 transaction 2021 Fees R500 transaction % Change
Withdrawal (Native) R6.00/R1000 R6.00 R8.00/R1000 R8.00 +33%
Withdrawal (Saswitch) R11.50 + R2.00/R100 R21.50 R12.00 + R2.20/R100 R23.00 +7%
Withdrawal (POS) R1.00 R1.00 Free Free -100%
Deposit (ATM) R2.00/R100 R10.00 R2.20/R100  R11.00 +10%
Debit orders (internal) Free Free
Debit orders (external) R3.50 R3.50
Monthly account fee (PAYT) R4.90 R4.90

Middle market account

Absa Gold Cheque Bundle 2020 Fees R500 transaction 2021 Fees R500 transaction % Change
Withdrawal (Native) R2.00/R100 R10.00 R2.20/R100 R11.00 +10%
Withdrawal (Saswitch) R11.50 + R2.00/R100 R21.50 R12.00 + R2.20/R100 R23.00 +7%
Withdrawal (POS) R2.00 R2.00 Free Free -100%
Deposit (ATM) R2.00/R100 R10.00 R2.20/R100 R11.00 +10%
Debit order (internal) Free Free
Debit order (external) R19.00 R19.00
Account fee (PAYT) R109.00 R109.00

Read: Absa promises full banking fee and service review for 2021

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Absa announces new banking fees for 2021