Do you need a bank account in South Africa as a foreign national? FNB non-resident account could be exactly what you’re looking for. The FNB non-resident account is widely regarded as one of the top non-resident accounts available in South Africa.
It is commonly utilized by multinational businesspeople who do not intend to stay in South Africa for an extended period of time. It is, nonetheless, a popular account among travelers and people of surrounding nations. Zimbabwean nationals are among those who prefer to retain their money in South Africa to avoid the banking uncertainties in Zimbabwe.
FNB Non Resident Account Summary
The FNB Non Resident Account is a current account offered by First National Bank that is aimed at foreign nationals who do not intend to be resident in South Africa but want to keep their money in South Africa. FNB Non Resident Account charges about R200.00 in bank fees on a monthly basis. To qualify for the account one needs to be a foreign national, resident in a third country and be 18 years or older.
FNB Non Resident Account compared to other banks
Standard Bank and ABSA also offer non resident bank accounts, however, in terms of functionality and account opening eaze, FNB outperforms them.
We say so because we did a physical test. We accompanied two foreign nationals to try and open bank accounts at ABSA, STANDARD BANK and FNB. One was from Zimbabwe and another from Germany, from customer services and speed FNB came out at the top.
How do you open an FNB Non Resident Account?
It is quite easy. Go to your nearest FNB Branch with your valid Passport and tell the door assistant that you want to open a non-resident account. She will give you a ticket with a number. When your ticket number is called out, you will be instructed to which counter you will be served.
In our experiment the bank tellers were generally friendly to both the Zimbabwean and Germany national. We, therefore assume they will be friendly to you as well.
The Bank Teller will ask for your passport, which he will then photocopy the front page and the page with the entry stamp. He will proceed to ask you for your phone number, email address and home address in your home country.
Well, after that, he will make some small talk while typing, typing and typing for about 20 – 40 minutes. He will then stand up and go to the printer where he will come back with lots of papers. He will ask you to read and sign every page, we advise you to read but we don’t think you will because it’s really a lot of papers. The people we accompanied both read the first few lines but went on to sign every page.
After signing you will then be asked to make a deposit of atleast R100 to activate your account. As soon as you make the deposit, he will then proceed to help you register for internet banking.
In conclusion, he will tell you that your card will be ready within a week for collection.
Ta-da thats it.
Word of Caution
Not every branch knows about the non resident account. We first went to Kempton Park, the West street branch and they looked at the guys like they had fallen out of the sky.
Outrightly refusing that FNB has a non resident account. We tried to explain to them and we even went as far as asking them to open the FNB website to check, but they were just too stuck on the belief that only foreign nationals with a Permit can open an account with FNB.
We also went to the Germiston branch, they also told us it was impossible. The branch manager at Germiston was very caring, he offered us water before taking us to his office. He explained in detail how impossible it is for a foreign national to get a bank account without a permit.
For the record; we expected this. Someone had already warned us about ignorance to this FNB facility in many branches.
We finally went to Sandton City branch, where the two gentlemen were served with speed and great efficiency. If you are in Gauteng and you want to open the FNB non resident account it is in your best interest to go to the Sandton Branch. The staff there is awesome and they seem used to handling foreign nationals.
Requirements for an FNB non resident account
- Recent certified payslip or proof of income
- Certified copy of passport and if currently in South Africa we would require a certified* copy of the visa, entry stamp or letter of introduction
- Three months latest bank statements from your bank abroad.
- Proof of physical address aboard, not older than 3 months
N.B: These are official requirements listed on the FNB Website but both the Zimbabwean and Germany nationals we accompanied only submitted their passports. To verify this, we accompanied a Zambian national to FNB Sandton City Branch to open a Non Resident Account. All they requested was his valid passport with an entry visa stamp.
What can you do with an FNB Non Resident Account?
- Use your account and debit card when you visit South Africa for local expenses and transactions
- Set up scheduled payments and debit orders for regular payments
- Online Banking for local transfers
- Request global payments for international transfers
- Send Ewallet
N.B: You can not make an ATM deposit to your FNB Non Resident Account. You can, however, receive money from other South African bank accounts. However, at the branch they told both the Zimbabwean and Germany friends of ours that they can not receive a payment from a local South African bank account.