Union Solidarity has released the 7th edition of its annual banking charges report, showing the cheapest and most expensive banking options across the major retail banks in South Africa.
The report is based on monthly banking fees from South Africa’s five biggest banks (Standard Bank, Absa, Absa, Nedbank and Absa), across four client profiles.
Each profile represents a different type of banking customer, and covers a different number of transactions (from a basic 12 transactions, to a comprehensive 30 transactions).
Further, the bank accounts are separated into two groups, namely those marketed at low-income groups and those marketed at middle-income groups.
The profiles have been compiled in-line with the banks’ promotional claims and account goals – namely limiting cash withdrawals, choosing internet services over physical branch visits and no overdraft or international transactions.
According to the report, Capitec Bank has ‘generally’ emerged as the cheapest bank for the needs of most people, though competition from the other four banks is becoming stronger.
Low Income (12 transactions)
Low Income Sophisticated (17 transactions)
Middle Income (25 transactions)
Upper-middle Income (30 transactions)
According to Solidarity, there has been a phasing out of pay-as-you-transact accounts in favour of bundle accounts, particularly for middle and upper-middle income profiles.
At 25-30 transactions a month, a PAYT option works out to be more expensive, and bundles are the more cost-effective route. While account fees have stayed the same, PAYT fees have increased.
The general bundle fee has been relatively stable at around R100 for the past three years, which is a positive occurrence, as it means most bundle users have experienced decreasing costs, in real terms, Solidarity said.
Comparing bundle accounts, Standard Bank comes out on top, the report showed.