5 Best Banks For South Africa Small Businesses [UPDATED 2020] (2022)

Coming in at #84 out of 190 economies for ease of doing business for 2020, South Africa is not always the easiest place to start up a small business. Nonetheless, many make it and thrive there.

When you start developing a business plan, the one of the first logical questions that come up is:

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How can I secure my financial success?

For the most part, you’ll need to have a great business idea, the right accounting software and a happy support team behind you. For the more technical financial considerations, you may have another question looming in your mind:

Which banks in South Africa might be the best fit for my small business?

Today we’ll check out which South African banks and accompanying transacting accounts will offer you the best conditions to make your small business successful.

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Nedbank – Small Business Services

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Nedbank-Ecobank Alliance is the largest banking network in South Africa and all of Africa. There are 2,000+branchesspanning 39 countries and they lend support to businesses big and small.

Their dedication to enabling small business growth was made evident through the creation of SimplyBiz, a network of like-minded entrepreneurs. It provides useful resources on a variety of business solutions.

With them you have the option of signing up for an account on a pay-as-you-use basis or for a flat monthly fee. The administration fee associated with the former is R60. The Business Bundle 35 and 60 options for medium and high frequency users charges R259 and R420 respectively.

They also offer solutions for daily transactions, loans, investing as well as specialized solutions for areas like agriculture and franchising (three cheers if one of these is also your business’ focus).

Check out their 2020 fee schedule and essential guide for small businesses for more info on all accounts and services offered.

First National Bank – First Business Account

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FNB’s First Business Account is described as a perfect start for the digitally savvy sole proprietor with a turnover of less than R5 million per annum. The digital solution is ideal for those who prefer to make good use of the FNB App which offers banking any time, anywhere.

Some additional benefits of signing up for a business account with FNB include:

  • Zero monthly fees – Pay no account fees and enjoy unlimited free card swipes
  • Fast payments – Accept payments with QR Speedpoint® available on the FNB App
  • Constant connection – FNB provides a Connect SIM that makes connectivity convenient, plus you might be eligible for a free monthly bundle
  • Easily managed cash flow – You can instantly transfer any additional cash into your linked Savings Pocket
  • Free business coaching – Access to a business coach is available any time, anywhere through Fundaba on the FNB App.

There are also a Gold, Platinum and Enterprise Business Account options available for more solidified business. You can use this selection guide as well the bank’s pricing guide to help you work out which option might ultimately be the best fit for your business’ needs.

Capitec – Global One Account

5 Best Banks For South Africa Small Businesses [UPDATED 2020] (4)

The goal of Capitec’s Global One account is to “help you bank better, so you can live better”.

Once issued a Global One debit or credit card you’ll have many ways to access funds and transact worldwide.

This includes via: 29,000+ Capitec ATMs, 800 branches, a dedicated banking app and 24/7 Internet banking. Notably, there’s also zero purchase fees worldwide when usingyour cardto pay for fuel, shopping, telephone orders, etc.

Their minimum account balance is a very reasonable R25 and their monthly subscription fee is only R5- really acknowledging and encouraging the fact that great ventures start from small beginnings.

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Be sure to check out their fees flyer for more info on costs associated with transfers, withdrawals, etc.

Bidvest Bank – Business Bank Account

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Bidvest’s Business Bank Account provides simple and fast access to an online banking system, which offers local and foreign transactions on one easy to use platform.

The account is free to open, offers a semi-competitive interest rate on balances R50,001+ and charges no monthly administration account fee.

The Debit Card issued to Business Bank Account holders may be used for purchases wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. Cash-back-with-purchase is also a possibility with some participating retailers like Pick n Pay in South Africa.

Normal transaction fees are charged and the bank account’s fee summary can be reviewed here.

Absa – Classic Business Account

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Absa Group Limited is listed on the JSE and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups. It has a larger than life presence in 12 countries across the continent and emply around 42,000 employees.

Absa offers accounts focused on small businesses and startups in South Africa and their popular classic option is great to consider if your business is a start-up business with an annual turnover below R10 million.

It follows the tenets of pay-as-you-transact pricing and offers free inter-account transfers and internal debit orders. Other benefits include:

  • Ability to build a credit record – You can start building your credit history by adding a business overdraft facility and making use of the interest rate tailor-made based on your business’ risk profile
  • Access to Enterprise Development Centres – The purpose of this initiative is to assist emerging SMEs to grow and prosper through access to development finance and non-financial training and mentorship
  • Easy electronic banking access Absa Online and no-monthly fee App banking is available 24/7

The monthly fee for the Classic Account option is R80, but there are many other accounts including Shari’ah compliant Islamic Business Accounts, Attorney Trust Accounts and more comprehensive Essentials Packages.

Research and review rates and fees and don’t forget to check out addition perks like these Travel Benefits!

Sasfin Bank Ltd. – Business Pay as You Use Account

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Sasfin is an independent banking and financial services group with locations spread throughout South Africa’s largest cities. It’s tagline is ‘beyond a bank’ and their business accounts aim to personify this idea by providing easy cash management for entrepreneurs with interest and access to a range of features.

You can earn up to 2% interest on your transactional account balances and the bank’s digital platform called B\YOND is a convenient favorite of many business owners. With it you can perform payroll management, send personalized quotes and invoices, set up classifications and transaction tags for tracking and so much more.

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Speaking of convenience, you can also apply for your account online, set up multiple users according to their role in your business and link multiple Visa business debit cards at no additional cost.

There monthly administrative fee is R100 for the Pay as You Use option. Check out their brochure to decide if this might work best given your business’ context.

Standard Bank – BizLaunch Account

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Standard Bank’s BizLaunch Account gives customers the functionality of a standard current account with the added benefit of bundled pricing at a reduced monthly fee for the first 12 months.

The discounted fees can make all the difference, plus knowing you’ll a fixed amount for bank charges every month brings greater peace of mind to many who crave predictability.

Another big draw is the fact that you can have multiple bank and credit cards issued for you and your staff each of which carries a secure chip with free lost card protection.

Anytime business banking online or at an coupled with UCount rewards and dedicated support from the BizDirect team also make for a happy banking relationship. So be sure to check out their pricing guide to see if this bundle option might be the choice for you!

Old Mutual Finance – Money Account

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The Money Account is a low-cost transactional account designed to assist business owners with their saving goals. For a monthly admin fee of R4.95, you can get two products for the price of one.

A transactional swipe account will let you withdraw cash from an ATM, swipe for in-store purchases and shop online while a linked savings account will stay in the background earning a rate of return that matches that of the favorable Mutual Money Market Unit Trust.

You’ll be able to move funds into and out of your savings account instantly and at no additional cost making it an ideal ‘rainy day’ fund.

Their list of transaction fees can be perused here.

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Choose the best bank for your needs

And there you have it. A carefully handpicked list and general overview of some of the best banking accounts for small businesses in South Africa.

Because business needs can be as diverse as the multitudes of fish in the sea, it’s important to:

  1. Know exactly what you want to get form your bank, and
  2. Thoroughly research the options

This includes speaking to a bank representative either on the phone or by visiting them to have any of your lingering questions answered.

Hope I’ve helped to set you on the right path as you forge ahead setting up shop, whether it be in the City of Gold (Johannesburg), Snor City (Pretoria), the Mother City (Cape Town), the City of Goodwill (Mafikeng)or where have you.

Best of luck and Hamba Kahle!

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5 Best Banks For South Africa Small Businesses [UPDATED 2020] (10)

FAQs

Which South African bank is best for small business? ›

May 2022 - The 2022 instalment of the Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services International Awards 2022 has seen Nedbank crowned Best Retail Bank in Africa and South Africa as well as the Best Bank for SMEs in Africa.

What bank helps small business? ›

Chase: Best overall bank for small businesses with full-service banking. Bank of America: Best for low cash deposit fees and ongoing rewards. Axos Bank: Best digital bank for cash deposits and refunded ATM fees. Bluevine: Best high-yield checking account.

Which bank is number 1 in South Africa? ›

South Africa's banking sector is again led by Standard Bank, which retains its position as the biggest bank in the country when measuring capital.

Which bank is the best for business account 2022? ›

Best Banks for Small Businesses in 2022
  • Best Overall: Chase.
  • Best for Online-Only Checking: Axos Bank.
  • Best Credit Union: Navy Federal Credit Union.
  • Best for Number of Branches: Wells Fargo.
  • Best for Business Analysis: M&T Bank.
  • Best Fee-Free Brick-And-Mortar Checking: US Bank.
15 Sept 2022

Which bank is the best in South Africa 2022? ›

1. Standard Bank: The Standard Bank Group is a big South African banking and financial services company that is widely recognized as Africa's largest lender in terms of total assets.

Which is the cheapest bank in South Africa? ›

Retail giant Shoprite has transformed its Money Market account into a fully transactional bank account – a first for a retailer in South Africa. According to Shoprite, its Money Market account is the lowest-cost banking account in the country, carrying zero fees for everything except withdrawals.

Which bank is the safest in SA? ›

In terms of perceived quality, African Bank (90.3), Nedbank (85.1) and Standard Bank (84.5) are above par (83.7). FNB (83.8) is on par, while Absa (82.1) is below par.
...
South Africa's best and worst banks, according to customers.
#1
BankAfrican Bank
2020 score83.4
2021 score87.5
Change+4.1
5 more columns
16 Mar 2022

Which is the cheapest bank to bank with in South Africa? ›

It's official: Shoprite's Money Market Account is now a full-fledged, transactional bank account, the first ever offered by a South African retailer – and the lowest cost entry-level bank account on the market. Clients pay a flat R5 fee for cash withdrawals.

How do I choose a bank for my business? ›

How to choose a bank for your small business
  1. Consider your short- and long-term financial goals. ...
  2. Think about how you prefer to bank. ...
  3. Look for the product features or services that are most important to you. ...
  4. Don't forget about fees. ...
  5. Start, but don't end, your search with your personal bank.

Are small banks better for small businesses? ›

Keep it Local

Small, local banks invest money back into your community, which provides jobs and improves the economy in your area. Not only are smaller banks more likely to give small businesses loans, but they love to support local businesses.

Which account is best for business? ›

The best business current account is Bank of Baroda Small Business Current Account.

Which is the best bank to bank with in SA? ›

The position of South Africa's big four banks has been eroded very slightly this year but they still fill four of the top six slots in our survey of Africa's Top 100 Banks in 2022, with Standard Bank Group the biggest bank in Africa.

Which bank should I choose in South Africa? ›

Capitec Global One Account is the best Gold Card Bank Account in South Africa. Gold cards are the best way to start your professional banking life. The account is easy to use and doesn't come with hefty fees. As the account is simple and has low charges, the rewards are not that much compared to other accounts.

Which bank is used by rich people in South Africa? ›

5 million or those who have R5 million in investable assets.
...
Bank accounts for South Africa's wealthy – what they offer.
BankAnnual salary neededMonthly salary needed
Standard Bank Signature BankingR1 104 000R92 000
Investec Private BankingR800 000R66 600
RMB Private Fusion AccountR750 000R62 500
Absa Private BankingR750 000R62 500
4 more rows
17 Apr 2022

What is the safest bank to do business with? ›

Safest Banks in the U.S.
  • PNC Bank. ...
  • Citibank. ...
  • Capital One. ...
  • M&T Bank Corporation. ...
  • AgriBank. ...
  • CoBank. ...
  • AgFirst. ...
  • Farm Credit Bank of Texas. Farm Credit Bank of Texas is the fourth member of the U.S. Farm Credit System, providing wholesale lending and business services in states like Texas, Alabama, and New Mexico.
30 May 2022

Which bank is best for startups? ›

Best Current Accounts for Indian Start Ups
  • IndusInd Freedom : IndusInd Freedom ranks as the #1 best current account for startups with the only zero balance account in the market. ...
  • Axis Bank StartUp : ...
  • HDFC Bank SmartUp : ...
  • ICICI iStartUp : ...
  • Yes Bank Head-STARTUP: ...
  • RBL Bank India StartUp Club :

What banks pay you to open an account 2022? ›

Bankrate's picks for the best consumer bank account bonuses in October 2022
  • Citibank: up to $2,000 bonus.
  • Fifth Third Bank: $250 bonus.
  • BMO Harris: up to $350 bonus.
  • SoFi: up to $300.
  • TD Bank: up to $300.
  • M&T Bank: up to $200 bonus.
  • Chase Bank: $200 bonus; $100 bonus for college students.
3 Oct 2022

What is the fastest growing bank in South Africa? ›

South Africa's first digital bank is the fastest-growing greenfield digital bank in the world. It focuses on increasing financial access and usage for underserved consumers and small businesses, with the goal of broadening economic participation.

Which South African bank is the cheapest? ›

Retail giant Shoprite has transformed its Money Market account into a fully transactional bank account – a first for a retailer in South Africa. According to Shoprite, its Money Market account is the lowest-cost banking account in the country, carrying zero fees for everything except withdrawals.

Which bank has the cheapest charges in South Africa? ›

It's official: Shoprite's Money Market Account is now a full-fledged, transactional bank account, the first ever offered by a South African retailer – and the lowest cost entry-level bank account on the market. Clients pay a flat R5 fee for cash withdrawals.

Why is FNB the best bank for business? ›

FNB's unique ability to keep abreast of the needs of businesses is demonstrated through its ever-expanding ecosystem. The bank's rapidly growing digital marketplace on the FNB App gives businesses that provide home and professional services access to a market of over 4 million potential customers.

Are small banks better for small businesses? ›

Keep it Local

Small, local banks invest money back into your community, which provides jobs and improves the economy in your area. Not only are smaller banks more likely to give small businesses loans, but they love to support local businesses.

Which bank has no monthly fees South Africa? ›

Of the four biggest banks in South Africa, FNB and Nedbank offer accounts that don't charge any fixed monthly fee, regardless of whether you use them. The remaining three options are from African Bank, Bank Zero, and TymeBank.

Which is the safest bank in SA? ›

  1. Attijariwafa Bank. Morocco.
  2. Groupe Banque Centrale Populaire. Morocco.
  3. Bank of Africa - BMCE Group. Morocco.
  4. FirstRand Bank. South Africa.
  5. Nedbank. South Africa.
  6. Investec Bank. South Africa.
  7. Standard Bank Group. South Africa.
  8. Absa Group. South Africa.

Which bank has no monthly fees? ›

Summary: Best No-Fee Checking Accounts
AccountForbes Advisor RatingMonthly Maintenance Fee
PenFed Credit Union Access America Checking4.8$10 or $0
Discover Cashback Debit Checking4.7$0
nbkc bank Everything Account4.6$0
TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking4.6$0
1 more row
30 Sept 2022

Which bank is best for SA? ›

The 5 best banks in South Africa according to their assets are:
  • Standard Bank. The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited is a South African financial services group and is considered to be Africa's biggest lender by assets. ...
  • Absa Group Limited. ...
  • FirstRand Bank Group. ...
  • Nedbank Group. ...
  • Capitec Banking Group.
28 May 2022

Which bank should I choose in South Africa? ›

Capitec Global One Account is the best Gold Card Bank Account in South Africa. Gold cards are the best way to start your professional banking life. The account is easy to use and doesn't come with hefty fees. As the account is simple and has low charges, the rewards are not that much compared to other accounts.

Which bank has the highest bank charges in South Africa? ›

Capitec, which pioneered the low-fee account segment, has now become the most costly of the banks still charging a monthly fee. This fee can be absorbed by rebates within the account, but this is not factored into the analysis below.

How do I choose a bank for my business? ›

How to choose a bank for your small business
  1. Consider your short- and long-term financial goals. ...
  2. Think about how you prefer to bank. ...
  3. Look for the product features or services that are most important to you. ...
  4. Don't forget about fees. ...
  5. Start, but don't end, your search with your personal bank.

Which bank is better FNB or Capitec? ›

“However, Capitec is the winner in the 17-transaction category with a total amount of R42. 90 for that basket of transactions. FNB's Easy PAYU account is in second place with a total of R54.

What is the safest bank to do business with? ›

Safest Banks in the U.S.
  • PNC Bank. ...
  • Citibank. ...
  • Capital One. ...
  • M&T Bank Corporation. ...
  • AgriBank. ...
  • CoBank. ...
  • AgFirst. ...
  • Farm Credit Bank of Texas. Farm Credit Bank of Texas is the fourth member of the U.S. Farm Credit System, providing wholesale lending and business services in states like Texas, Alabama, and New Mexico.
30 May 2022

Which small bank is best? ›

Here are the top 10 small finance banks in India that offer competitive interest rates for fixed deposits:
  • ESAF Small Finance Bank Fixed Deposit.
  • North East Small Finance Bank Fixed Deposit.
  • Suryoday Small Finance Bank Fixed Deposit.
  • Utkarsh Small Finance Bank Fixed Deposit.
  • Unity Small Finance Bank Fixed Deposit.

How many bank accounts should a small business have? ›

We recommend opening three accounts to help you stay on top of your small business finances: checking, money market, and high-yield savings.

How do I find a good local bank? ›

8 steps to choose a new bank
  1. Identify the right account. ...
  2. Look for banks that charge low or no fees. ...
  3. Consider the convenience of a bank branch. ...
  4. Take a look at credit unions. ...
  5. Find a bank that supports your lifestyle. ...
  6. Examine digital features. ...
  7. Understand the terms and conditions. ...
  8. Read reviews for banks you're considering.
8 Mar 2022

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