Online banking comparison — TymeBank, Bank Zero smash Absa, FNB, Standard Bank

TymeBank is the cheapest digital banking charges within South Africa, with Bank Zero being an even second place, according to the Solidarity Bank charges Report of 2024 been revealed.

The South African trade union created a basket of online transactions and monthly administrative fees for the country’s digital banks and accounts for entry-level customers through major banks.

Solidarity discovered it to be true that TymeBank along with Bank Zero offer clients who don’t require branches or extensive banking services best value for their money by a certain margin.

“To do the 14 transactions in our basket at these banks costs R14 and R17, respectively, while it would cost R41.25 at the closest competitor among the traditional banks,” said Solidarity.

It based its comparison on the assumption that customers do not make cash transactions and that they only have digital transactions as well as monthly account charges. It also assumed all debit orders as well as Internet banking transactions to be made through an external source.

“The most important factor in determining the winner is the amount of transactions that are free of cost. In this instance, TymeBank is slightly ahead of Bank Zero,” it stated.

“In the case of both banks, the only transaction on our list that has a cost is sending cash to a cellphone number.”

“For customers who don’t require branches in physical locations These banks [TymeBank along with Bank Zero] therefore are perfect. The price differs for the price,” added Solidarity.

The graph below compares the costs of the 14-transaction basket in a variety of basic bank accounts. Solidarity didn’t mention Discovery Bank — a prominent digital bank from South Africa — in its analysis. It’s likely to be at the upper end of the price spectrum.

The way TymeBank along with Bank Zero shook up the banking sector

TymeBank as well as Bank Zero were launched in South Africa in February 2019 and August 2021 respectively.

Digital-only banks provide low-cost accounts in the hope of making banking easier for members of the South African public.

Both accounts come with no monthly fees for accounts, nor charges for purchases made with debit cards electric recharges, online transactions.

The banks do not rely on the traditional structures of banking of banks with established structures like branches, head offices and a large number of employees. Instead they operate entirely via an application.

TymeBank is a bit different in a way from Bank Zero. TymeBank is a partner that it has with Pick n Pay and Boxer supermarkets. They provide physical locations for bank customers to gain access to banking services when they need.

Bank Zero also launched deposits at Checkers and Pick n Pay stores in 2022, a feature which customers have overwhelmingly requested.

This shift away from traditional banking is helping to keep costs low, which makes digital banks such as Bank Zero and Tymebank attractive for those who have lower incomes.

This method of banking has assisted TymeBank grow to 8.5 million clients since it was founded and recently announced that it had reached the initial month of profit in December 2023.

“We are extremely proud of our achievement, particularly when you consider that globally, less than half of the top 100 digital banks are profitable,” said TymeBank CEO Coenraad Jonker.

“In fact, a recent study stated that less than 5% of all neobanks worldwide had reached profitability.”

Bank Zero hasn’t recently reported customer figures. However it appears that the Google Play Store shows that the Android application has been downloaded more than fifty thousand instances throughout South Africa.

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