App-based banking in South Africa — how fees differ between banks

All of South Africa’s prominent banks offer app-based banking with varying fee structures, charging different amounts for basic payments, prepaid purchases, debit order disputes, and instant transfers.

MyBroadband compared the app transaction fees of South Africa’s prominent banks — and three well-known digital banks — and found significant differences between them.

We analysed app banking fees for Absa, Capitec, First National Bank (FNB), Nedbank, Standard Bank, Discovery Bank, TymeBank, and Bank Zero.

Our comparison focused on banking products with the lowest monthly fees. We compared Absa Basic Banking, FNB’s Easy PAYU, Nedbank Pay-as-you-use, and the Standard Bank MyMo accounts.

We found that FNB, TymeBank, and Bank Zero accounts do not charge a fee for account payments and transfers, while the others charge fees ranging from R1.00 to R2.50.

FNB doesn’t charge for stop payment orders or prepaid airtime purchases either, similar to South Africa’s digital banks — Discovery Bank, TymeBank, and Bank Zero.

Discovery Bank is the only bank that doesn’t charge a fee for debit order disputes, while the other banks’ prices range from R5 to R10, with TymeBank being the most expensive.

Bank Zero does notify customers of every debit order placed on their account. This allows clients to reject unauthorised debit orders before they cost money to dispute.

Regarding stop payment instructions, Absa charges the highest fee at R32, while FNB, Standard Bank, and Discovery Bank process the orders for free.

Instant payment services are where the most significant differences appear.

Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank, and Discovery Bank charge a minimum of R10 for immediate payments, while Capitec and FNB charge a flat rate of R7.50 and R45, respectively.

More specifically, Absa charges R10 for immediate payments up to R1,000 and R49 for larger transactions.

Nedbank allows instant payments of up to R3,000 for R10. Anything higher than that will be charged R49.

Standard Bank’s R10 fee is for immediate payments under R2,000, and it charges R50 for anything higher.

Discovery Bank charges a flat R10 fee regardless of the amount being transacted.

It is similar to Capitec in this regard, which charges a flat rate of R7.50 per immediate payment.

TymeBank charges R7 per R1,000 transacted, with a cap of R35. Bank Zero does not provide the option for immediate payments.

A selection of app transaction fees from banks in South Africa are summarised in the table below.

Banking app fee comparison
Bank Account payment Stop payment Debit order dispute Instant payment  Prepaid airtime purchases
Absa R1.00 R32.00 R5.00 R10 / R49* R1.50
Capitec R1.50 R9.00 R5.00 R7.50 R0.50
FNB No charge No charge R5.00 R45 No charge
Nedbank R2.20 R5.00 R5.00 R10 / R49* R1.50
Standard Bank R1.20 No charge R5.00 R10 / R50* R0.50
Discovery Bank R2.50 No charge No charge R10 No charge
TymeBank No charge R10 R10 R7 per R1,000* No charge
Bank Zero No charge R8 R8 No charge
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.
*For instant payments through TymeBank, users are charged R7 per R1,000 paid, with a cap set at R35.

Now read: Billions flowing into payment companies in South Africa

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App-based banking in South Africa — how fees differ between banks