I want it all…

26 March , 2013

This post is not what you think it might be about…it’s about banks in South Africa.

They’re a necessary evil of sorts aren’t they? Anyhoo, we’re stuck with them and the trick is finding the one that messes you around the least and then keeping a low enough profile to never get their full attention again after that.

On the off chance that someone who can do something about services and features of banks trawls the internet looking for tips, I have decided to list my favourite features of all the banks. If ever one single bank combined all of these things for me, I would move every single account I have over straight away. So, herewith a list of features that I would see in the mythical perfect bank mix, from each of the other existing banks:

  • ABSA: this happens to be the bank that I’m with. I like their internet banking, their action line, and their universal branch code, and their prompt SMS notifications when there’s action on your account.
  • FNB: I don’t have an account with this bank, but I believe you can buy your Lotto tickets online and they just automagically pay your winnings into your account so you never actually have to touch a ticket, stand in line, or remember to check if you’ve won. I never win, but still it would be a nice feature I think.
  • Standard Bank: I don’t have an account here either, but I am thinking of opening one just because of this little feature. They have the best share trading thingy, and you get access to it with just a savings account. Pure magic! One of my secret place colleagues showed me how easy it is to use it, and I love it so much I SIMPLY MUST HAVE IT. I looked into my own bank’s “share trading system” and it’s so convoluted and labour intensive that I’d rather not even give it a bash, seriously. (on this one you just type in what you want and how many – Bob’s your uncle! With my bank you have to open a separate account, transfer money into it with a reference code, phone to check that your money has been allocated to your account, phone in orders for shares, check that they actually got allocated against your account with your reference number and so on…grrr…also you have to go FICA yourself again – that is so much fun that I don’t even want to look into it JUST for that!)
  • Capitec: I have a savings account for Nicola with them. I love their interest rates when you actually have money and I love the service and the extended business hours. Their internet banking thing is also not too bad, but it looks so straight forward in comparison to what I’m used to that I get nervous using it, because surely this can’t be it? I’m just putting it out there Capitec, if you gave me the Lotto thing and the shares thing you’d be my hot favourite and bank of choice for sure! (Oh yes, and if you could get the SMS notifications to start working on Nicola’s account too, that would be great.)
  • Nedbank: I don’t bank here, and have never heard anything good from anyone who does. If I had to pick one feature from this bank to add to the mix for the perfect bank I’d have to go with the colour scheme. Oh wait, just thought of something! They used to print really pretty pictures on their cards. Cool, we’ll take that. 😉 The colour scheme’s not that great to be honest.

That’s about that for me I guess. Who do you bank with? Do you love them? If so, why?

Totally unrelated photos (of course):


Still looks like a baby when she sleeps… 🙂



Some cute photos from in the car…



My princess! 😀



  1. Ek lief jou blog!

    • Baie dankie! Wanneer kuier ons weer bietjie, mmm? Ek mis jou!

  2. I am a FNB man and have been for years.. also with Standard.. never been with the others.. but I must admit I find FNB the best and their online banking is so easy.. have a couple of accounts with them… mind you also with standard who’s internet banking is also good… but they all have their inefficiencies… just find these two to have the least…

    • Thanks for the input! I’m definitely looking into the Std one for the shares if nothing else…

      • You can buy shares in a company about to sky rocket in value… Bulldogs Turf Solutions.. lol…

      • Hehehe…cool. How much are the shares going for? 😉

      • You can’t afford them so don’t worry..

  3. I bank with Bidvest bank. I do not have any problems with them. Their branch in Brooklyn mall are great. For any type of service you want to do with them, they let you sit down even at the Tellers.
    Bank services can also be done via fax, email or telephone.
    They are an International bank, so things like Paypal and online purchases nationally and internationally are a dream.

    • I didn’t even think about them. Whose ATMs do they use?

  4. I was with Absa for 25 years and the last two years with FNB have been my best banking experiences EVER! EVER!

    I honestly think everyone should switch…..

    fnb does everything in that first bullet of yours 🙂

    • Not to mention that they don’t have Steve? 😉 I banked with them as a child and they screwed me over with some fees. I probably will not go back ever again just because of that.

  5. For the first 5 years we had accounts at our bank I had never stepped foot in one, only finally going into after I married to change my name. I think it’s brilliant! I could do everything online, And now on my phone. I get SMS, email, and app updates instantly. I also receive and pay all my bills from there. My new favorite feature, depositing checks via phone picture, so now the only reason I’m ever at an ATM is for cash.

    • Wow! Your banking sounds a lot more user friendly than ours. It’s definitely not that simple here.

  6. Blergh! Well we bank with FNB – purely cos D banked with them and it made sense when I stopped working. I must say their product is the best out there – you can’t compare internet banking, they do the sms thing, they also have a universal branch code. You can open an account online (yes you need to go into a branch eventually but it does make it easier).

    Their service sucks though but the main reason I haven’t moved is because their product is so good – I was with Nedbank, my mom is with Standard Bank and it took me a week to figure out how to set up her internet banking and even now when I help her with stuff it is so crappy. If Capitec offered homeloans, credit cards etc then I would move to them tomorrow!

    • I am not surprised to hear you say that you’re not happy with them…I’ve seen a few of your tweets on the matter and it sounds like they’ve given you the runaround on numerous occasions!

  7. Bank of the Transkei trading as Capitec. One reason I can’t bank with them. Just knowing what they really are… I used to live in the Transkei and the thought gives me shivers. The other reason is I travel for fun and work and you can’t use their cards anywhere else in the world. I am with Nedbank after shit service from ABSA and Standard Bank. My bank fees are much lower, I love that my card gives to the World WIldlife Fund everytime I use it and it doesn’t cost me anything, I do love the awesome pic on the card and they are super helpful and friendly always.

    • Bank of Transkei?! Is that really their name? Mwahaha! It’s a good thing for them that’s not a well known fact!

      It’s like LG that actually stands for Lucky Goldstar. Sometimes rebranding is totally worth it. 😉

      I am now counting you as at least one person who is completely happy with Nedbank. I’m quite surprised to hear you say your fees are lower with them…in general I thought they were perceived as the bank with the highest fees?

      • Found out their real name when I was working in admin for a big company. Def good for them that very few people know that.
        I earn a much higher salary now then I did when I was banking at Standard but my fees are much lower. Plus I like that they tell you what the fee is for. SB just puts banking fee next to each amount. Yes because I know what that is for.
        Still I spent a year living in Oz as a student and I loved a banking system without fees for everything. They don’t charge for having a card or using their services. You only pay a very small amount if you draw from a different ATM. You can also transfer money without a fee and top up a prepaid phone from the ATM again without a charge. The reason…. banks make money from the interest from lending money. They don’t actually need to charge fees. That seems to have escaped our lot here.
        One other nice thing about banks there is that the customer is always right. Here you always have to prove yourself and in the case of a stolen card can be left without money for weeks.

  8. We have accounts at ABSA, Standard and hubby at FNB. One thing I can say is that I totally hate ABSA – we had to FICA 3 times because they keep forgetting to update on their system and then froze our account. With 3 kids in tow. Their internet banking is totally laborous and pathetic – I hate to use it. Standard bank’s best bit is possibly their internet banking which is stunning with pre paid options, easy to use. And they have a wonderful high rate no banking cost savings account that I use for the kids.

    • Thanks for the input! Yeah…ABSA aren’t exactly coming up roses, are they? I didn’t initially have a problem FICA-ing with them when any piece of paper would do, but when I moved back to Jhb from CT they had tightened the rules quite a bit and refused all the proof I actually had…that’s probably why they still think I live in CT 5 years later. 😉

  9. We bank with all the banks. I had a nedbank acct and Brad a standard bank acct before we got married. We then opened a joint FNB acct. Personally I HATE all bank. I think their service is pathetic. I have particularly hated FNB, I have this constant nagging feeling I am being robbed…and have on numerous occassions reminded them that their slogan “How can we help?” does not only relate to new customers but to existing customers as well.
    I have been very tempted to try Capitec….I love the extended hours and their products are quite competitive….hmmm…maybe i will open a savings account.

    • I opened a savings account for Nicola with them and so far we’ve had absolutely no drama whatsoever. I really liked that the branch manager came out to meet us and welcome us to the bank when we did that. Nice touch!

  10. Interesting post I dare say.The banking behaviour of folks and consequently the infrastructure is fast changing all across the globe. Could your dis-satisfaction be due to this change?


    • Thanks.

      Mmm…maybe. I think people just want more bang for their buck these days. Banks charge enormous admin fees and I guess we’re happier paying that if we at least feel like we’re getting some value adding services thrown in to the mix.

  11. Kat, those banking services in Oz sound like bliss…apparently banks here used to work very similar yonks ago. Wonder what went wrong?

  12. FNB also has a share trading account. In fact, they have two. One only lets you buy shares from the Top 40 Blue Chip companies (eg SAB, Tiger Brands etc) and the other will let u buy shares from any company.
    I’m with FNB and I won’t switch. I love that they’re on Twitter and always respond. In fact, they’ve called me when I’ve had a problem before. I’ve always had good & prompt service from them. 🙂

    Also, you can get an iPad through them… 😉

    • All good reasons to like them…especially the iPad! 😉

  13. I’m with FNB and Capitec. More Capitec. Because it’s basic and cheap. The internet banking is not that advanced, though it is very user friendly. For more advanced stuff I use FNB. I can’t say that I get the best service from them though.

    • Thanks for the feedback…

  14. I don’t mind changing banks at all though. I think I need to check out Bidvest.

    • Hahaha! Good idea. 😉

Say something...come on! You know you want to?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: