Despite ongoing economic hardships, South Africa still offers numerous opportunities for businesses of all sizes – and one of the first steps in establishing a successful business is to open a business account.

Some of the advantages of opening a business account include the separation of personal and business finances, increased credibility and safety, and gives you access to business banking services.

One of the cheapest and most flexible accounts afforded to entry-level South African businesses and entrepreneurs is the Pay-As-You-Use (PAYU) business account.

This type of account offers a flexible and cost-effective solution for small businesses. Several South African banks offer a PAYU business account, and some of the advantages of this account include the following:

  • Low or no monthly fees – PAYU accounts typically have low or no monthly fees, which makes it a cost-effective option for small businesses.
  • Pay only for what you use – businesses only pay for the services they use, such as transactions, debit card usage, or online banking.
  • No minimum deposit requirements – unlike traditional business accounts, PAYU accounts do not have minimum deposit requirements, making it easier for small businesses to manage their finances.
  • Improved cash flow management – businesses can keep track of their cash flow and manage their expenses more efficiently.
  • Easy to open – PAYU accounts are typically easy to open and require minimal documentation, making them a convenient option for small businesses.

BusinessTech looked at all the banks that offer a PAYU business account and compared these accounts using several points of interest:

  • Monthly account fee;
  • External debit order fee (to other banks);
  • Electronic payment fee;
  • Card purchases fee; and
  • Cash withdrawals and deposits at an ATM.

For this comparison, we looked at offerings from Absa, FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank, Mercantile Bank (a division of Capitec Bank), and TymeBank.

The table below shows the fee comparison of a PAYU business account from all the abovementioned banks.

Bank Account Monthly fee Debit order Electronic payment Card purchases Cash withdrawals and deposits at an ATM
Absa Business Evolve Lite R0 R24 (first five are free) R12.50 (first five are free) R0
  • Withdrawals: R2.20 per R100 (first two or up to R3000 free)
  • Deposits: R4.65 + R1.50 per R100 (first two or up to R3000 free)
Capitec (Mercantile Bank)  Business Account R65 R5 R5 R5
  • Withdrawals: R8 per R100
  • Deposits: R1 per R100
FNB Gold Business Account R83 R12 R7.50 R5.68
  • Withdrawals: R2.30 per R100
  • Deposits: R4.65 + R1.20 per R100
Nedbank  Business PAYU R65 R19 R8.35 R4.30
  • Withdrawals: R2.50 per R100
  • Deposits: R8.75 + R2.10 per R100
Standard Bank MyMoBiz Account R5 R3.50 R5.25 R0
  • Withdrawals: RR2.20 per R100
  • Deposits: R4.50 + R1.10 per R100
TymeBank EveryDay Business R0 R0 R0 R0
  • Withdrawals: R10 per R1000
  • Deposits: R7 per R1000
Bank Zero Business Banking R0 R0 R0 R0
  • Withdrawals: R9 per R1000

Considering these accounts target small businesses, most of these bank account offers have a business turnover limit.

For example, Absa’s Business Evolve Lite account is offered to companies with an annual turnover of up to R1.5 million.

Other banks with turnover limits include FNB’s Gold Business and Standard Bank’s MyMoBiz accounts, with an annual turnover of up to R5 million. In contrast, Nedbank’s Business PAYU account is offered to those with less than R3 million turnover per annum. 

Additionally, although TymeBank’s EveryDay Business has minimal fees, it is linked to your personal account profile – meaning your limits are shared between your Personal and Business accounts.

The EveryDay Business offering limits holders to a maximum account balance of R700,000 at any given point, with a transaction limit of R1.4 million.

It also doesn’t offer unique business banking services as the other banks do. This includes Bank Zero, which lists a host of third party charges such as card customisation and delivery, balance requests, and proof of payment via SMS.

For example, Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Capitec offer 24/7 banking assistance or a personal banker to help with your needs.

FNB also offers eBucks Rewards for business, and Nedbank offers Greenbacks for an annual linkage fee of R324.

Another nice-to-have option Absa offers is the POS Mobile Pay device at no extra cost, while Standard Bank provides the machine for an additional R69 per month.

While these PAYU accounts are the cheapest business accounts you can get, most of the banks mentioned in this article offer tiered accounts to suit a business’s specific needs.

These offers include bundle accounts with unrestricted transactions, access to credit facilities, and business loans at competitive rates. To view the accounts on offer, click the link to the respective bank in the table provided.