South Africa’s new payment system launches on Capitec and Discovery Bank – fees compared

 ·15 Aug 2023

[Update: This article has been updated with the revised PayShap fees from Absa, which came into effect from 1 July]

Capitec and Discovery Bank are the latest banks to adopt the South Africa’s new payment system, PayShap.

PayShap is a real-time payment service developed by BankservAfrica and the Payments Association of South Africa (Pasa) in collaboration with the South African Reserve Bank.

The system launched with Absa, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank in March 2023 – and is now available to Capitec and Discovery Bank customers.

According to PayShap, its latest stats reflect a strong uptake of the system, with the service having exceeded the one million transaction milestone within six months of its market launch.

“The PayShap service is fast proving to be a viable, digital option for South Africans seeking a secure and convenient way to transfer funds in a matter of seconds.

“We are very pleased to have Capitec Bank and Discovery Bank onboard for faster payments to be made possible for more individuals and small business owners,” said Mpho Sadiki, Head of Real-time Payments at BankservAfrica.

The system allows banking customers to make real-time payments or withdraw cash, or allows them to send money to loved ones in other provinces, encouraging and cashless lifestyle.

Capitec joining the system is a significant leap in making PayShap mainstream, and the bank’s 20 million customers – a third of the country’s total population – will now have easy access to the service.

Cpaitec said that the system will help its customer base reduce reliance on cash and make transactions faster, more convenient and more affordable.

Discovery Bank, meanwhile, said that it has already integrated PayShap into its systems and is automatically rerouting payments where appropriate.

The system offers these key benefits:

  • No need to exchange banking details for payments: PayShap enables payments using an identifier other than a bank account number e.g. a cellphone number (ShapID) registered with a participating bank.

  • Secure payments within seconds: Send and receive money instantly with the guarantee that money will reflect immediately in the recipient’s account.   

  • Moving funds to/from any participating bank made easy: Send or receive money from any bank offering PayShap. This means that PayShap transactions can now take place between Absa, Capitec, Discovery Bank, FNB, Nedbank or Standard Bank with more banks to join soon.

  • Payment for any amount up to R3,000: With PayShap, any low-value payment of up to R3000 for any day-to-day activity is possible.


While South Africa’s key banks are now participating in the system, not all groups are applying the services equally – this is reflected in the fees charged for transacting.

Capitec has embraced the low-fee structure of PayShap wholeheartedly, charging R3.00 for instant payments at the upper tier. On the opposite end is Discovery, which charges up to R12.00 (or 0.4% of the transaction value above R1,500).

Absa launched with the highest pricing at R45 for transactions over R1,000; however, from 1 July it reduced this to R7.50 in line with competitors.

The other banks have kept the top fee more in line with their own legacy instant payment charges.

If customers pay using their ShapID to another ShapID, Nedbank has the potential to be the cheapest bank for the system with a flat rate of R1.00. However, if payments are made to a normal bank account, this defaults to R7.50.

BankUp to R100R100-R200R200-R1000R1000-R3000
NedbankR1.00 or R7.50*R1.00 or R7.50*R1.00 or R7.50*R1.00 or R7.50*
Standard BankR7.50R7.50R7.50R7.50
Discovery BankR1.00R5.00R5.00R6.00 – R12.00**
* R1.00 for ShapID to ShapID
** 0.4% of the transaction value between R1,500 and R3,000

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

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