Best SA bank while temporarily overseas?

auditor01

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Mar 14, 2015
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Any suggestions on the best SA bank for if you need a SA bank account but are also going overseas for 3-6 months at a time? I will be heading overseas soon but still need to keep my SA bank account for salary payments to go into and out of. I'll be overseas for 3-6 months and will be getting a foreign SIM card and contact number.

Currently I bank with Nedbank but this is not an option to use overseas because the Approve-IT system is, frustratingly, still SA cellphone number based and not in-app based.

What are the security options for Capitec/ABSA/Investec/FNB/Standard Bank with regards to approving EFTs and purchases? Do any of them have internet/app-based approval systems that you can use with an internet connection overseas?
 

Freaksta

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Sep 4, 2005
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I've lived in Australia and maintained my FNB account - I have not had any issues in using it (quite frequently when I first got here) while being in Australia do various things. Everything can be done via the app, in saying that I actually still have my South African Mobile number laying around in a drawer because certain websites in South Africa require sms OTPs.
 

Hamster

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Aug 22, 2006
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Investec

Approvals work similar to FNB (in app) so not tied to your cell number.

I'm in the Netherlands but still use my Investec account for SA payments, SARS etc. No issues and if there is any problem you just email your private banker - no call centre, help desk number etc.

I can just imagine the pain involved with other banks if I, for example, lost my bank card here and needed to cancel and replace it. Worse, imagine you lose both your cellphone and bank card in a mugging... (with FNB you'll be proper screwed).

With Investec that will be an email to the private banker.
 

TedLasso

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Feb 23, 2016
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So, around 2006, I moved to UK and had no banking facilities except for my FNB cards at the time. The irony of moving to UK was that on day 1 of being there, my 'gold' CC (gold was the top tier at the time) was stolen/taken by a shop keeper. (not important to this thread)

Anyway, clue horror shock at trying to report this asap. Found an internet cafe and reported to FNB. Went through the normal hoopla.

Here's the thing:- my replacement card was with me in the UK, 3 days later. I was so bloody impressed ...

For me, when I decide to leave, will stick with FNB again, but will keep my local number as PAYG and just top up 30 sms every two months to keep it active.

Have been doing this for some years with my UK numbers to make my UK banking accounts ,etc - easy to manage - I bought a R150 dual SIM phone from pick and pay to house the UK SIMs, charging always, and they've been working fine. Early, this year, I was near it once, and got a call on it and decided to pick up and it was from my old local health centre to come get my vaccination
 

Drifter

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Dec 19, 2012
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Probably FNB, you cant use Capitec, they are not authorised to receive international payments.
 

Louis72

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Jun 15, 2010
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1,391
Any suggestions on the best SA bank for if you need a SA bank account but are also going overseas for 3-6 months at a time? I will be heading overseas soon but still need to keep my SA bank account for salary payments to go into and out of. I'll be overseas for 3-6 months and will be getting a foreign SIM card and contact number.

Currently I bank with Nedbank but this is not an option to use overseas because the Approve-IT system is, frustratingly, still SA cellphone number based and not in-app based.

What are the security options for Capitec/ABSA/Investec/FNB/Standard Bank with regards to approving EFTs and purchases? Do any of them have internet/app-based approval systems that you can use with an internet connection overseas?
Absa approvals are in app 2FA popups.

You can turn on international travel on any card with the App. No need to phone or message.
 

Hamster

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Aug 22, 2006
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Here's the thing:- my replacement card was with me in the UK, 3 days later. I was so bloody impressed ...
You reckon FNB will still manage that 15 years later though? I found myself in a situation in SA where FNB wasn't my primary bank where I was caught in a catch 22 with a new phone and not knowing the pin of my card I never used.

So to get the pin of the card on the web you need to approve it in the app, but to register the app you need the card and its pin and it took me forever to try and explain this to help desk person but they couldn't help via the web chat because my browser wasn't an authorized device.

Im sure it was an edge case, but it's just too much tech in between me and my account. Give me a competent human any day of the week :D
 

auditor01

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Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
9
Thanks for all the info everyone! I appreciate it. Sounds to me like ABSA/FNB/Investec are the best options, which is good because they all support Apple Pay (FNB admittedly embarrassingly late).

For peace of mind, Investec sounds best but I've always been one to turn my nose up to their high fees for my otherwise simple financial needs - and 'simple' salary at this point in my career. Might be time to take the plunge though (side note: Nedbank, strangely, has the best value for money young professionals banking package imo).

If I stay with professional banking I'll move to Investec. The question now is whether to stay on a professional banking package or to switch to a cheaper account with FNB/ABSA while I go overseas.
 

agwshannon

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Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
1
Any suggestions on the best SA bank for if you need a SA bank account but are also going overseas for 3-6 months at a time? I will be heading overseas soon but still need to keep my SA bank account for salary payments to go into and out of. I'll be overseas for 3-6 months and will be getting a foreign SIM card and contact number.

Currently I bank with Nedbank but this is not an option to use overseas because the Approve-IT system is, frustratingly, still SA cellphone number based and not in-app based.

What are the security options for Capitec/ABSA/Investec/FNB/Standard Bank with regards to approving EFTs and purchases? Do any of them have internet/app-based approval systems that you can use with an internet connection overseas?
Hi - I’m with Nedbank, and within my portfolio lies the Non-Resident and Embassy Banking area. The Approve-It process has been enhanced to cater for this need and has been working successfully for some time. You are welcome to reach out to me on alans@nedbank.co.za - I’d welcome the opportunity to chat further so we resolve for this need. Many thanks, Alan
 

Scooby_Doo

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Sep 4, 2005
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7,876
FNB and you can use your phone to tap to pay incase your card gets lost.
 
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