Just as PwC’s research predictions were released in 2018, the South African banking market saw a sharp increase in competition during 2019. In particular, there has been a high completion of new accounts targeting the entry-level (typically low-income) markets.
In 2019, there have been a number of changes in the transactional banking space. The big 5 (Standard Bank, FNB, Capitec, Nedbank and Absa) found themselves competing with a number of new entrants at one go.
Digital banks like TymeBank and Bank Zero have not been the only new competitors; companies like Discovery and Old Mutual have also offered customers transactional accounts.
The competition has, however, been an advantage to customers as banks are forced to revise their products to remain relevant.
While the likes of Absa, FNB, Capitec and Nedbank have responded through price reductions, Standard Bank also came up with its own improvements.
Standard bank has 2 entry-level accounts; MyMo account (launched in 2019) and the Standard Bank Access Account which is their traditional entry-level account.
In this article, we have compiled a full review of the Standard bank’s Access Account.
How the Standard bank Access Account works
- Access Account is a simple and affordable transactional account that gives you access to different convenient banking channels.
- It allows you to bank in your community and accesses cellphone Banking, Internet Banking and the Mobile App allowing you to bank anywhere at any given time.
- The Standard bank Access Account is accessible for customers with zero monthly income.
- Your valid South African Identity Document
- Proof of residence that is not older than 3 months
- A minimum of R50 opening deposit is required and at least R20 account balance to keep the account’s status active
- As any transact account functions, you can make withdrawals, deposits, transfers, account payments and get account statements
- The Standard bank access account allows you to make unlimited free balance enquiries on your phone, in the mobile app or online
- There are free transfers between your accounts held within Standard bank
- Free debit and stop orders from your Standard bank accounts
- You get access to Visa or Mastercard offers and utilize their 24/7 emergency services contact centres
- You can send cash anywhere in South Africa using the InstantMoney voucher, the receiver can be anyone even without a bank account
- Topping up of prepared electricity or airtime can be done straight from your account
- There are free MyUpdates you receive via an SMS or Email
notification to assist you to keep a record of all your transactions
- Your card can be linked to the SnapScan or Masterpass apps to pay by phone and securely shop online
- There are UCount Rewards you receive every time you use your card
- Your account can be fully managed and controlled using the Standard bank’s online, mobile and telephonic banking services
- You can link the PureSave to your bank account to create a savings pocket and transfer funds into your PureSave for free
- Borrowing becomes easy from their “AccessLoan”, this loan has the same repayment amount even if interest rates increase
The monthly administration fee is now R5.80 from R5.60 which is a 3.6% fee increase, well; the fee increase is below inflation.
Cash withdrawal fees
- The Standard bank ATM cash withdrawal fee is R1,90 per R100 while the withdrawal you make from a branch counter has a fee of R55,00 + R1,90 per R100 you take.
- Other bank’s ATM cash withdrawals are R9,00 + R1,90 for every R100
- The international cash withdrawal fee is R55,00 + R1,90 per R100
- Cheque deposits made over the Branch counter or ATM are R55
- cash deposit at a Standard Bank ATM is R1,70 per R100 deposited, while branch deposit is R8,50 + R1,70 per R100
Payments and funds transfers
- external debit orders are R5.50 while internal is free
- external stop order fee is also R5.50 while an internal one is free
- sending Instant Money below R1 000 costs you R10.50 while any amount more than that costs R12.50
- the Immediate online payments below R3 000 have R10 fee while amounts above R3000 are R50
Competitive advantages of the Standard Bank Access Account
- FREE internal transfers, card swipes, balance enquiry, Standard Bank debit and stop orders and Mobile App, Internet and Cellphone banking subscriptions
- R0 monthly income earners have access to the account
- The Standard bank access account allows you to make sizable transactions, unlike other entry-level accounts with very low limits
Competitive disadvantages of the Standard bank Access Account
The fees are a bit higher compared to most offers of a similar product in the market when attaining services directly from the Standard bank branch.
As one of the leading traditional banks in South Africa, Standard bank managed to foresee the 2020 price competition hence they revised their fees before other banks.
By the time most banks were changing fees; Standard bank had already settled their 2020 fees, showing great competence in the industry.