5 Best Banks For South Africa Small Businesses [UPDATED 2020] (2023)

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?

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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.

Nedbank – Small Business Services

5 Best Banks For South Africa Small Businesses [UPDATED 2020] (2)

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

5 Best Banks For South Africa Small Businesses [UPDATED 2020] (3)

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.

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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.

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

Bidvest Bank – Business Bank Account

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

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

5 Best Banks For South Africa Small Businesses [UPDATED 2020] (6)

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.

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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

5 Best Banks For South Africa Small Businesses [UPDATED 2020] (7)

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.

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

5 Best Banks For South Africa Small Businesses [UPDATED 2020] (9)

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.

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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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Which bank in South Africa 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.

Which is the best bank 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 bank is the best for business account? ›

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.

Which bank is the cheapest 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.

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.

What is the newest bank in South Africa? ›

Be Mobile Africa — a low to no-fee banking product provider — has announced its official launch in South Africa.

Which SA bank has the most customers? ›

South Africa's 5 biggest banks compared: earnings vs customers vs market cap vs reach
BankCustomers (Latest reported)Customer Satisfaction (2019.20)
Absa Bank9.7 million76.8
Standard Bank9.2 million75.3
FirstRand (FNB)8.2 million79.9
Nedbank7.3 million80.2
1 more row
10 Sept 2020

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

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.

How do I choose a bank in South Africa? ›

5 things to consider when opening a new bank account
  1. Nature of Transactions. The first step is to assess your financial objectives and banking requirements. ...
  2. Value and volume of transactions. ...
  3. Convenience. ...
  4. Banking Costs. ...
  5. Rewards.
24 Feb 2022

Which bank has the best app in South Africa? ›

FNB has once again displayed its digital innovation leadership by winning two awards: Best Consumer Digital Bank in South Africa and Best Mobile Banking App in Africa. This was announced at the 2022 World's Best Consumer Digital Bank Awards in Africa, hosted by Global Finance.

How do I choose a small business bank? ›

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Business Bank Account?
  1. Account features and services.
  2. Interest rates for deposit accounts.
  3. Service fees.
  4. Branch banking and ATM access.
  5. Daily, weekly and monthly transaction limits.
  6. Introductory bonus offers.
  7. Ease of integration.
3 Nov 2020

What bank doesn't charge monthly fees for a business account? ›

Axos Bank® Basic Business Checking

The free online business account has no monthly fee or minimum opening deposit requirement, delivers 24/7 customer support and offers free nationwide ATM access with unlimited refunds for fees charged by other banks and ATM operators in the U.S.

Can I open a business bank account online? ›

Opening a business checking account online is generally faster and easier than visiting a branch location and applying in person. While the process will vary slightly depending on the individual bank, you should be able to complete and submit your online application in a matter of minutes.

Which bank has the least monthly fees? ›

Best no-fee checking accounts
  • Best overall: Capital One 360® Checking Account.
  • Runner-up: Ally Interest Checking Account.
  • Best for rewards: Discover Cashback Debit Account.
  • Best for out-of-network ATMs: Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking Account.
  • Best for students: Chase College Checking℠ Account.

Which bank is best for low income? ›

10 Best Banks for Low-Income Earners
  • Ally Bank.
  • Chime.
  • Axos Bank.
  • Capital One.
  • Revolut.
  • Alliant Credit Union.
  • Financial Resources Federal Credit Union.
  • SoFi.
19 Oct 2022

Which bank is the easiest to open an account? ›

The 8 Easiest Banks To Join
  • Chime. Chime1 is probably the easiest to join. ...
  • TD Bank. To sign up with TD, users can go online and enter their basic information, including a driver's license number or state ID. ...
  • United Bank. United Bank has the same requirements as TD. ...
  • Synchrony. ...
  • Chase Bank. ...
  • Axos Bank. ...
  • Ally. ...
  • Wells Fargo.
24 Jan 2022

Is TymeBank a good investment? ›

The investment by Tencent and CDC represents a strong endorsement for both TymeBank - as one of the world's fastest growing digital banks - and for South Africa's banking sector overall. TymeBank is fully regulated and held to the same standards of safety and security as all other banks in South Africa.

Which South African bank is international? ›

Today, HSBC South Africa's principal activity is global banking and markets.

Which is the safest bank in South Africa? ›

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 has many clients in South Africa? ›

About 9.17 million people say that Capitec Bank is their main bank. Absa has 5.06 million customers who use it as their main bank, followed by FNB (5.01 million), Standard Bank (3.97 million) and Nedbank (3.36 million).

Which bank pays the most in South Africa? ›

Top companies for Bankers in South Africa
  • Princess Cruises. 4.1 R 74 342per month. 1,287 reviews6 salaries reported.
  • Nedbank. 4.1 R 14 957per month. 1,581 reviews6 salaries reported.

Which bank has the best private banking in South Africa? ›

Top 3 best bank accounts in South Africa 2022
#BankBank Account
1Capitec BankCapitec Global One Account
2ABSA BankABSA Premium account
3FNBFNB Private wealth account
1 Jan 2022

Where do millionaires keep their money in South Africa? ›

Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch

These three towns are in close proximity to each other. Combined, they form one of the fastest-growing areas in South Africa for HNWIs. Notably, a large number of retired HNWIs have moved to these towns over the past decade.

What type of bank accounts do millionaires use? ›

  • Union Bank Private Advantage Checking Account. The Union Bank Private Advantage checking account is available exclusively to Private Bank clients. ...
  • Morgan Stanley CashPlus. ...
  • TD Bank Private Banking. ...
  • Truist Wealth Checking. ...
  • BNY Mellon Cash Management Access Account. ...
  • Chase Private Client. ...
  • Bottom Line.

Is Nedbank better than Capitec? ›

Capitec Bank's brand is ranked #966 in the list of Global Top 1000 Brands, as rated by customers of Capitec Bank. Nedbank's brand is ranked #- in the list of Global Top 1000 Brands, as rated by customers of Nedbank.
Capitec Bank vs Nedbank.
1 more row

Is Discovery bank better than FNB? ›

FNB still offer face to face assistance where you can go into the branch and get assistance with your account whereas Discovery are a digital bank and all assistance is done telephonically. Sometimes it can be frustrating dealing with Discovery over the phone when explaining a complex issue.

How much is FNB monthly fee? ›

FNB Easy Account Fees for 2022
Fee TypeSmart AccountPay as you earn Account
Monthly Account FeeR62.00R4.95
ATM Withdrawal FeeR2.85 per R100R2.85 per R100
Till Withdrawal FeeR1.00R1.00
Withdrawal at other bank ATM feesR9.50 + R1.90 per R100.00R10.00 per R1000.00
3 more rows
14 Jun 2022

How do I know which bank to choose? ›

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

Which FNB account is best? ›

FNB's Fusion Premier Account named best value for middle-to-upper income clients
  • With FNB's Fusion Premier Account, you can get a free FNB Global Account if you want to shop on global online platforms or save in foreign currency. ...
  • Premier Fusion value.
22 Mar 2022

What is the best account to have? ›

Here are the best online savings account interest rates
  • Popular Direct – APY: 2.25%, min. ...
  • Capital One – APY: 2.20%, min. ...
  • Citibank – APY: 2.20%, min. ...
  • American Express National Bank – APY: 2.15%, min. ...
  • Discover Bank – APY: 2.15%, min. ...
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs – APY: 2.15%, min. ...
  • Ally Bank – APY: 2.10%, min.

Which bank is fully digital? ›

Well, that's now possible with the ICICI Bank Fully Digital Banking. Now you can start a relationship with ICICI Bank completely online; right from application to approval. Be it for your Personal Banking or Business Banking needs – everything is completely online, wherever you are.

Which bank is most innovative in digital banking? ›

DBS has been honoured as the global winner for 'Most Innovative in Digital Banking' by Financial Times publication, The Banker, in its 2021 Innovation in Digital Banking Awards.

Do I need a business bank account if self employed? ›

For sole traders, business bank accounts are not a legal requirement.… A self-employed bank account can mean one of two things: using a personal account for business conducted when self-employed, or using a business account instead. For sole traders, business bank accounts are not a legal requirement.

How do I open a business account at capitec bank? ›

How to open a business account
  1. Phone our 24hr Mercantile Call Centre on 0860 30 92 50.
  2. Click Get in Touch below and complete the form.
  3. Visit one of our business centres.

What is small business banking? ›

Your Hometown Bank. Wherever You Live.

SMALL BUSINESS BANK offers every micro and small business personal attention, free mobile banking and convenient card products, regardless of where in the US your business is located, registered, or doing business. Personal service for every business customer, no matter how small.

Can I use my personal account for business in South Africa? ›

Sole proprietors pay provisional tax and are not legal entities. However, they are recognized in South Africa as a form of business. For this reason, a sole trader can open a personal account and use it for business since the owner and the business cannot be separated.

Can I use a normal bank account for my business? ›

Legally, you can use your personal bank account for both business and non-business transactions, or you can set up a second personal bank account to use for your business. Keep in mind, though, that your bank's terms and conditions may prohibit you from using a personal account for business transactions.

How do you pay yourself if you are self-employed? ›

When you do pay yourself, you just write out a check to yourself for the amount of money you want to withdraw from the business and characterize it as owner's equity or a disbursement. Then deposit the check in your personal checking or savings account. Remember, this is “profit” being withdrawn, not a salary.

Can I put business money in my personal account? ›

Can You Use Business Funds for Personal Use? Business owners should never use their business bank account for personal expenses. Doing so can lead to legal, operational, and tax issues.

Can I have 2 Capitec accounts? ›

You can add up to 4 savings accounts via the Capitec App. It's super easy to add them and to give them a unique name. Each linked account has it's own account number. You can send and receive money to each account directly.

Can you open a business bank account without a registered business? ›

The significant difference between a business bank account and a personal current account is that a business account must be registered to an incorporated company, while a personal account is registered to an individual.

Do I need a business bank account South Africa? ›

If you plan to carry out business in South Africa using a company which is incorporated elsewhere, you should register as a foreign company with the CIPC. Details on this process are available here. If you register as a foreign company working in South Africa then you're required to open a local business bank account.

How much money should be in small business bank account? ›

How much you should set aside in your business savings account depends on your business. Aim to save at least 10% of the profits you make every month, with up to 6 months' worth of operating expenses in reserve.

What are the 7 types of banks? ›

The different types of banks in India are:
  • Central Bank.
  • Cooperative Banks.
  • Commercial Banks.
  • Regional Rural Banks (RRB)
  • Local Area Banks (LAB)
  • Specialized Banks.
  • Small Finance Banks.
  • Payments Banks.
19 Oct 2022

How much money do you need to open up a business account? ›

Generally, in order to get started, banks require an opening deposit ranges from $5 to $1,000. Others have no initial deposit and some have a monthly maintenance fee.

How much must a business make to pay tax in South Africa? ›

Turnover tax versus VAT

Your business only needs to register for VAT if your taxable funds exceed R1 million in value within a 12-month period. As a microbusiness, your turnover would generally amount to less than R1 million, so you're not required to register for VAT.

What is taxable income for a company South Africa? ›

A South African (SA)-resident company is subject to CIT on its worldwide income, irrespective of the source of the income. Non-residents are taxable on SA-source income. For tax years ending before 31 March 2023, the CIT rate applicable to the corporate income of both resident and non-resident companies is a flat 28%.

What document do I need to open a business bank account? ›

Get documents you need to open a business bank account
  1. Employer Identification Number (EIN) (or a Social Security number, if you're a sole proprietorship)
  2. Your business's formation documents.
  3. Ownership agreements.
  4. Business license.


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