In this series of blog posts, we review the cheapest entry-level bank accounts from nine of South Africa’s biggest banks.

Today’s review includes offerings from Capitec, FNB and Nedbank.

If you missed it, check out Part 1 for our review of Absa, African Bank and Bidvest Bank.

Capitec: Global One

The Basics

The Global One account costs R5 per month and comes with the additional option of four Capitec savings accounts. Withdrawals at Capitec ATMs are R6 but withdrawals at till points cost R1. Debit orders cost R3.50 and EFTs are just R1.

Interest

Global One’s standard transactional account earns 4.75% interest per year – a solid return from a cheap entry-level account. Capitec’s savings accounts attract a higher interest rate but require you to keep your money in the account for longer periods.

Convenience

Capitec’s zero-rated (it doesn’t use any mobile data) mobile app has a 4.3 rating on the Play Store and a 3.2 rating on the App Store. If you’re looking for face-to-face help, Capitec has over 800 branches nationwide, and they’re open until 17:00 on weekdays.

Customer Service

Capitec’s customer service ranks joint-highest with an average HelloPeter rating of 1.76.

Bonus

Instant payments cost an additional R8, which is the cheapest instant payment in our comparison.

Watch Out

Capitec customers face notoriously long lines at their ATMs, due to popularity. There’s an extra R2 charge to use a non-Capitec ATM.

First National Bank: Easy Account

The Basics

At R4.95 per month, the Easy Account from First National Bank costs the same as equivalent offerings from Old Mutual and Standard Bank. Withdrawals at FNB ATMs cost R6 and R10 at non-FNB ATMs.

The majority of FNB’s transactional fees are identical to Capitec’s: R1 point of sale cash withdrawals, R3.50 debit orders, R1 EFTs and R5 cash deposits.

Interest

A big fat zero. This is the most important difference between FNB and Capitec’s entry-level accounts.

Convenience

FNB’s mobile app has a 4.2 rating on the Play Store and a 3.1 rating on the App Store. FNB’s apps are also zero-rated. Most branches are open until 15:00 or 16:00 on weekdays.

Customer Service

A HelloPeter rating of 1.55 does not make for great reading, but it’s not the worst.

Bonus

Not a whole lot, unfortunately.

Investec

Just kidding. This is about entry-level accounts!

Nedbank: Pay-as-you-use Account

The Basics

Nedbank’s Pay-as-you-use Account has no monthly fee.

Interest

Nudda. Zilch. The biggest shortcoming of an otherwise decent account.

Convenience

Nedbank’s mobile apps are rated 4.5 and 4.2 on the App Store and Play Store respectively. They’re also zero-rated.

Nedbank’s branches typically close between 16:00 and 17:00 on weekdays.

Customer Service

An average rating of 1.76 on HelloPeter puts Nedbank tied-first with Capitec for customer support.

Watch Out

Nedbank charge R5.50 per debit order, more than any other bank in this review. Their SMS notification fees of R1.10 are also the second highest.

Summary

In terms of transactional costs, FNB’s Easy Account ranks quite well overall, but the lack of interest is a major bummer.

For almost identical costs, one may as well open up a Global One account at Capitec which has the benefit of annual interest.

Although Nedbank’s offering has no monthly account fee, their transactional fees are by far the worst. Couple that with zero interest and, well, it’s not great. That said, special mention should be given to their two excellent mobile apps.

Check back tomorrow for Part 3 where we’ll be examining the entry-level bank accounts of Old Mutual, Standard Bank and TymeBank.