FNB’s Easy PayU account offers the most affordable online banking transaction fees among major banks in South Africa, while Absa’s Transact account was the most expensive, a MyBroadband analysis of entry-level bank accounts showed.
Online banking services became essential as the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns restricted people’s movement.
Several of South Africa’s major banks have also been closing or downsizing their branches, with customers becoming more accustomed to the convenience of banking online.
While many customers have switched to app-based online banking, some might still prefer the ease-of-use and simple navigation that comes with Internet banking, where you can use a large desktop monitor or laptop screen.
We compared the fees charged by South Africa’s major banks for using various common Internet banking services like instant payments, buying airtime, disputing debit orders, and getting emailed statements.
For our comparison, we looked at the bank accounts from Absa, Capitec, Discovery Bank, FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank, and TymeBank with the cheapest monthly fees.
Bank Zero was excluded from this comparison because it does not offer Internet banking services alongside its app (see: App-based banking fee comparison).
For an indicative monthly cost of using each account, we created a mixed basket of transactions and services often used by banking customers.
This basket consisted of the following:
- 5 payments
- 3 prepaid airtime purchases
- 1 instant payment of R1,000
- 1 stop payment
- 1 debit order dispute
- 1 emailed statement
- Monthly fee
Little to separate
Out of the accounts and services we compared, FNB’s Easy PayU account narrowly beat the Capitec Global One account for the top spot.
Its basket cost worked out to R22.95, while Capitec’s was R24.50.
Between the first-placed FNB account and the sixth-placed Nedbank account, there was only a difference of about R13.
However, Absa’s Transact account was way more expensive than the rest, with a basket cost of R71.40.
A large part of this was due to the exorbitant Stop payment fee of R32, which varied between R0 and R10 on the other accounts.
It should be noted that your experience might differ significantly from our analysis, as the basket cost would depend on your banking habits.
The table below shows how the rates of various online banking services compare between different entry-level bank accounts in South Africa.
|Online banking rates — Major banks|
|Absa Transact||Capitec Global One||FNB Easy PayU||Nedbank Pay-As-You-Use||Standard Bank MyMo PAYT|
|Payments||R1.00||To Capitec account: R1.00
Other bank: R1.50
|Instant payment||Up to R1,000: R10.00
Over R1,000: R49.00
|R7.50||R8.00||Up to R3,000: R10
Over R3,000: R49
|Below R2,000: R10
R2,000 and above: R50
|Stop payments||R32.00||No charge||No charge||R5||R2.00|
|Debit order dispute||Before 40 days lapsed: R5||R9.00||R5.00||R5||R5.00|
|Emailed statement (last 30 days)||R10.00||No charge||No charge||No charge||No charge|
|Buy prepaid airtime fee||R1.50||R0.50||No charge||R1.50||R0.50|
|Monthly fee||R4.90||R6.50||R4.95||No charge||R4.95|
|Online banking rates — Digital-only banks|
|Discovery Bank Gold||TymeBank Debit|
|Instant payment||R10.00||R7.00 per R1,000
|Stop payments||No charge||R10.00|
|Debit order dispute||R5.00||Before 60 days lapsed: R10.00
Older than 60 days: R60.00
|Emailed statement (last 30 days)||No charge||No charge|
|Buy prepaid airtime fee||No charge||No charge|
|Monthly fee||R10.00||No charge|