You have been successfully signed up.

Loading, please wait...

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

June 28th, 2017 by

Many people are guilty of not knowing how much they’re paying for transacting with their cheque account.

We, for one, thought the monthly bank fee covered everything. But here’s a fairly comprehensive look at the five major South African banks’ updated bank fees for 2017/2018.

But here’s a fairly comprehensive look at the five major South African banks’ updated bank fees for 2017/2018.

Who Has The Fairest Bank Fees Of Them All?

First National Bank (FNB), the last of the big banks to publish their updated banking fee structure, will implement their 2017/2018 fees on July 1st. FNB’s changes were mostly incremental.

Business Tech recently published a comparison of the Absa, FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Capitec fee updates from 2016 to 2017/2018. Of the categories they covered were native withdrawals, other withdrawals, POS withdrawals, ATM deposits, internal and external debit orders, and account fees.

Below is a comparison of a handful of fees across ‘Gold’ account equivalents for the five major South African retail banks. All prices are based on pay-as-you-transact fees, after bundle limits, where available.

Are you wanting to pay less in banking fees? Compare different accounts and make the change to start saving today!

CTAs 01 01 300x178 - Are You Paying More Or Less in Bank Fees in 2017?

Bank Fees For Transactions Under R500



Standard Bank




Withdrawal (Native) R3.95 + R1.35/R100 R1.80/R100 R4.50+ R1.40/R100 R1.85/R100 R6.00
Withdrawal (Other) R9.95 + R1.35/R100 R6.70 + R1.80/R100 R11.50 + R1.40/R100 R8.00 + R1.85/R100 R8.50
Withdrawal (POS) R3.95 R1.80 Free R1.40 R1.50
Deposit (ATM R3.95 + R1.35?R100 R1.80/R100 R5.50 + 70c/R100 90c/R100 90c/R100
Debit Order (Internal) Free R4.50 Free Free R3.50
Debit Order (External) R16.95 R16.00 Free (R5.00 on PAYT) Free R3.50
Account fee R42.00 R55.00 (PAYT) R100.00 R105.00 R5.50 (PAYT)


(Note: Fees in red are an increase. Fees in green are either unchanged or decreased).

Capitec, the youngest of the five major banks, saw prices increase across most of its transactions in March 2017. Because their increases were off such a low base, however, their transaction costs are still the most competitive across the board.

FNB has introduced a POS withdrawal fee, from being free previously. But at R1.40 it is the cheapest fee in this category apart from Nedbank who have gone from R4.00 to free. But Nedbank has the highest fees in the vast majority of fee categories.

Bank Fees For Transactions Over R500



Standard Bank




Withdrawal (Native) R10.70 R9.00 R11.50 R9.25  
Withdrawal (Other) R16.70 R15.70 R18.50 R17.25  
Deposit (ATM) R10.70 R9.00 R9.00 R4.50 R4.50


For POS withdrawals there was no price change across the banks for transactions above R500. Capitec’s fees remain standard above and below the R500 mark, apart from ATM deposits where they charge R4.50. FNB and Capitec are currently tied for the lowest fees for ATM deposits in both categories (90c/R100, below R500, and R4.50, above).

Standard Bank, possibly in a bid to alter their low rate of customer satisfaction) underwent a complete fee restructuring.

They implemented a number of significant decreases in fees (above and below R500). One of which was a 64% reduction in their POS withdrawal fee from R5 (previously the highest) to R1.80 (now second highest).

Standard Bank is the only bank – apart from Capitec who charges a low standard fee for both internal and external debit orders – who charges their customers for internal debit orders. FNB charges for neither internal nor external debit orders regardless of pay-as-you-transact status.

Bank Fees Are Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

We posted a few months back on the best (and worst) banks according to social media. According to data from the marketing and research firm, BrandsEye, Capitec – now the third biggest bank in South Africa – received the most positive feedback in general, as well as pertaining to their customer service. Absa and Standard Bank brought up the rear, respectively, in these two categories.

Read about the best and worst banks in South Africa below

button1 - Are You Paying More Or Less in Bank Fees in 2017?

We looked to consumer commentary on the updated bank fees to draw some insight. One topic brought up by a reader who goes by ‘Loman’ on the Business Tech article pointed out that how much interest these accounts earn should also be considered.

Loman, who moved from Standard Bank to Capitec, says a Global One Capitec account accrues a minimum of 5.35% interest regardless of what’s in the account. “Standard Bank gave me 0.2% interest and I had to have a minimum of R20,000.00 in my account to qualify for interest,” he says.

Either way, with R20,000.00 in your account, you’d earn R3.34 in interest from Standard Bank, compared to R87.50 from Capitec.

Another reader, ‘Confused Goat’, said: “Notice how simple and straight forward Capitec charges are, in comparisons with all other banks … ABSA is R3.95+ R1.35/R100 unless you have a calculator with you, you will never how much exactly you are paying for [a] withdrawal.”

19062017 CTAs 04 700x205 - Are You Paying More Or Less in Bank Fees in 2017?


In The Future

Industry disruption caused by the growing fintech (financial technology) industry is going to alter the future of banking. As former FNB CEO, Michael Jordaan told CNBC, there are “lots of businesses” being started globally, including in telecommunications and banking, that have very low-cost bases.

He predicts that, in the next 10 years, we’ll see many incumbents (big banks in South Africa) fighting against these upstarts (and their low fees).

  • Quentin & Jani Levey

    FNB deposits at the ATM is for free!?!