South Africa’s new payment system PayShap fees compared – Nedbank vs Absa vs Standard Bank vs FNB

 ·14 Mar 2023

PayShap, a new real-time payment service, launched this week (13 March) in partnership with four South African banks – and some offer better fee incentives than others.

BankservAfrica and the Payments Association of South Africa (Pasa) launched the new real-time payments service earlier this week with Absa, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank.

Banks supporting the PayShap protocol let customers link their cellphone numbers to their bank accounts, allowing customers to use these “ShapIDs” instead of bank account numbers to receive payments.

Banks refer to this as a “proxy payment”, where your ShapID acts as a stand-in or proxy for your bank account number.

Currently, PayShap allows customers to transfer funds of up to R3,000 per transaction.

However, when comparing these four banks’ PayShap transfer fees, if you bank with Absa and Standard Bank, non-real-time EFT is far more cost-effective than PayShap.

Absa currently charges R45 for PayShap transactions over R1,000, while a non-real-time EFT costs only R1.

Comparatively, Standard Bank charges R7.50 for all PayShap transactions while charging R1.20 for a non-real-time EFT – effectively disincentivising using PayShap for large-value transfers.

FNB and Nedbank, on the other hand, have launched cheaper PayShap tariffs.

Nedbank charges a flat R1 fee for all ShapID-to-ShapID transactions, offering a substantially cheaper alternative to regular immediate interbank payments and its non-real-time EFT fee of R2.20.

However, PayShap transactions to regular bank account numbers are billed at R7.50 each, like Standard Bank.

Nedbank is also running a promotion where all PayShap transactions are free until 30 April 2023.

FNB is offering free PayShap transactions for amounts below R100, while payments over R100 are billed at a flat rate of R6 each – once again making them cheaper than regular immediate payments but more expensive than EFT, which currently has no charge.

This means that unless you desperately need payments to clear immediately, banks offer almost no incentive to use PayShap.

The table below compares the PayShap and EFT fees offered at the four banks.

PayShap fees
Transaction size Absa FNB Nedbank Standard Bank
Up to R100 R2.50 Free
  • R1.00 ShapID to ShapID
  • R7.50 to bank account
R100.01 – R200 R6.00
R200.01 – R1 000 R7.50
R1 000.01 – R3 000 R45.00
Instant and non-realtime EFT fees
Transaction size Absa FNB Nedbank Standard Bank
Non-real-time R1.00 Free R2.20 R1.20
Instant R10 / R49*** R45.00 R10 / R49* R10 / R50**
Absa: Basic Banking account; FNB: Easy PAYU account; Nedbank: Pay-as-you-use account; Standard Bank: MyMo account.
*Nedbank charges R10 for instant payments up to R3,000 and R49 for payments over R3,000.
**Standard Bank charges R10 for instant payments under R2,000 and R50 for payments of R2,000 and above.
***Absa charges R10 for instant payments up to R1,000 and R49 for payments over R1,000.

PayShap is not a standalone app and is accessed only through existing banking channels.

“At launch, PayShap will be automatically accessible through bank channels such as mobile banking and internet banking. We anticipate that in the future, banks will innovate and opt to enable additional digital access channels,” said the head of Real-time Payments at BankservAfrica, Mpho Sadiki.

PayShap is currently in its first phase of the launch, which allows the option to pay-by-account (using account details) or pay-by-proxy (using a unique identifier such as a cellphone number or ShapID), said Sadiki.

The second phase will introduce an additional request-to-pay function which will make it possible for a person to initiate a payment request and receive money securely and immediately in their bank account.

More banks are expected to adopt the payment system in the coming months.

FNB’s EFT product house chief, Ravi Shunmugam, told MyBroadband that while transactions exceeding R1,000 carry a risk premium due to risks of short-term fraud and financial crime – and are priced as such – PayShap transaction prices are expected to decrease over time as the risks and other factors around the system are better understood.

Absa’s Everyday Banking managing executive for consumer products, Christine Wu, added that the competitive nature of the banks should drive down the pricing over time.

For now, Wu said the bank’s objective is to encourage early adoption, particularly for low-value transactions.

Read: New bank launching in South Africa in 2024

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