Cheapest digital bank in South Africa


A new report found that Tymebank is the least expensive bank account for online banking needs among South Africa’s largest banks.

The Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) published its latest Banking Charges report for 2024, showing how pricing at South Africa’s biggest banks compares based on user profiles.

Solidarity’s annual bank charges report only analyses ordinary transaction profiles – accounts available to any member of the public.

This means that accounts for the youth, students, the elderly and specific religious groups and private bank accounts are not covered. 

It also does not include accounts where minimum or maximum monthly income is specified unless it is the only one in the category offered by a specific bank.

In addition, while some banks prescribe income levels for different accounts, the consumer profiles Solidarity used in its report are not compiled according to income level but according to the number of transactions for each profile.

For example, the purely online banking needs category looks at bank accounts that allow 14 specific digital transactions, as seen in the table below.

In this section, Solidarity assumed that no cash transactions were made. 

The transactions include only digital transactions and monthly administration fees. At the same time, all debit orders and Internet banking payments are assumed to be external to put the new banks on an equal footing with traditional banks.

Discovery Bank was not included in this year’s report because many transactions in Solidarity’s basket are not indicated on the bank’s fees page.

The main factor determining the winner in this category is the number of transactions that carry no cost. In this case, TymeBank is slightly ahead of Bank Zero. 

In the case of both banks, the only transaction on Solidarity’s list that has a cost is sending cash to a cellphone number. 

As with other banks, there are differences in the costs charged for immediate banking transactions and immediate payments to accounts at other banks. 

The report said that these banks are ideal for customers who do not need physical branches. “The cost difference speaks for itself.”

Below is the ranking of the bank accounts that fall into this category.


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