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 Old Mutual, Standard Bank and TymeBank.

If you missed it, check out Part 1 for our review of Absa, African Bank and Bidvest Bank and Part 2 for our review of Capitec, FNB and Nedbank.

Look out for our final review where we’ll be giving all nine banks their final scores and going into a bit more detail behind them.

Old Mutual: Money Account

The Basics

Old Mutual’s Money Account costs R4.95 per month and comes with two accounts, a Swipe Account (transactional) and a Save Account (savings).

Withdrawals at Old Mutual ATMs are R7.00, which is the joint-highest in our comparison. Cash withdrawals at non-Old Mutual ATMs are R10, but point-of-sale cash withdrawals are just R1.00. Debit orders are R2.00, the joint-cheapest, while EFTs cost just R1.00.

Interest

Instead of a flat interest rate which most accounts offer (if they offer any interest at all), Old Mutual’s Save Account earns a rate of return that matches the Mutual Money Market Unit Trust, which has never experienced a negative return over any calendar month since it started.

On average, the Mutual Money Market Trust has an annual return of 8.4%, which trumps the likes of Capitec and African Bank.

Convenience

Old Mutual’s mobile app has a 4.0 rating on the Play Store and a rather disappointing 2.9 on the App Store.

Customer Service

An average HelloPeter rating of 1.61 puts Old Mutual squarely in the middle of the customer service rankings.

Bonus

Money Account holders get access to Old Mutual Rewards, where points can be exchanged for investment contributions and airtime & data.

Watch out

Cash withdrawal fees at Old Mutual ATMs are on the high side. They also don’t have as many ATMs as some of the other banks, so you’ll probably have to pay the R10.00 non-Old Mutual ATM fee for cash withdrawals.

Standard Bank: MyMo

The Basics

Standard Bank’s new MyMo offering also costs R4.95 per month.

Withdrawals at Standard Bank ATMs cost R6.50 and R12.00 at non-Standard Bank ATMs. Debit orders are R3.50 and EFTs are 1.20.

Interest

0. Sigh.

Convenience

As a user of Standard Bank’s mobile app, the 2.8 App Store rating seems harsh. The 3.8 Play Store rating is also rather low. Most Standard Bank branches close at 15:30, which is earlier than most.

Customer Service

Standard Bank has an above-average Hello Peter rating of 1.65.

Watch Out

Immediate payments cost an extra R50, which is definitely on the high side. SMS payment notifications cost R1.25 per SMS, way more than the other banks charge.

TymeBank: EveryDay Account

The Basics

TymeBank, a free digital-only bank has taken South Africa by storm.

There’s no monthly fee attached to the account, which comes with a GoalSave savings account. Their transactional fees are also low. R4.00 cash deposits, R2.00 debit orders, R2.00 EFTs.

Interest

Tyme’s headline claims of 10% interest are a bit confusing and slightly misleading. I’ll explain. The money in your GoalSave account earns interest at rates that increase over time. Keep your money in there for 1-30 days and earn 6% annual interest, 31-90 days for 7% interest and 91+ days for 9% interest. The catch? If you want to take money out, you have to take it all out. To delay you from doing that, Tyme offers a bonus amount of interest in exchange for keeping your money in their account for an extra 10 days. That said, 9% is still an incredible interest rate for a free account, but makes Tyme’s offering more suitable for long-term savings.

Convenience

Creating an account online is easy, although there have been mixed reviews for Tyme’s physical kiosks where cards are printed. It beats standing in a bank queue though, right? Bizarrely, Tyme are yet to release their iOS app. So much for digital.

Customer Service

Yeah, about that… Being a digital-only bank has its downsides. You can’t go to a branch to get your query sorted – but that’s kind of the whole point. There are ‘ambassadors’ to help you at kiosks though.

Bonus

SMS notifications are free, TymeBank are the only bank that offers this. You can get the free TymeCoach app, which offers free credit ratings and helps you stay on top of your credit.

Watch Out

Tyme don’t have their own ATMs, so if you don’t want to withdraw cash at a point of sale (R2.00), then you’ll be paying R8.00 at another bank’s ATM.

Look out for our infographic tomorrow where we give all nine banks their final scores!

Summary

Old Mutual’s low-cost Money Account offers an exciting interest rate and has relatively low transaction fees.

Standard Bank are the losers of today’s review, with zero interest and poorly-rated apps.

Tyme are changing the game but they’re certainly not without teething problems. Digital-only banks are disrupting the banking industry with their low fees and the likes of Discovery Bank, Bank Zero and Bank Bettr are set to join the party soon.

Check back tomorrow for our final review where we’ll be giving all nine banks their final scores and going into a bit more detail behind them.