A bank account is a safe and useful place to keep all your money. You enter into an agreement with the bank, and they provide you with a service. They provide you with peace of mind; you know that your money is safely and securely deposited into a bank account. A bank account is also convenient, as you can access your money from any ATM.  It is also easier to save and invest your money for your future.

How to Open a Bank Account

Opening a bank account is simple, but it is essential to know what type of account you would like to open. Banks offer numerous types of accounts, with their own benefits, so you need to decide on a bank and the type of account that best suits you and your needs. Simply walk into the bank, speak to one of the consultants and present the following:

  • A valid South African ID
  • Proof of residence
  • At least 3 months’ payslips
  • A minimum deposit of R50

Minors or people younger than 18 can open their own bank accounts, with the consent of a parent or legal guardian. They require the following to open their own bank accounts:

  • A valid ID or birth certificate. Proof of residence. Completed application form signed by the parent or legal guardian. A valid ID of the parent or legal guardian.   A minimum deposit of R50

If you would like to open a bank account and are older than 18 years old and cannot produce at least 3 month’s payslips or you are not employed, there are bank accounts to meet your needs as well. Numerous banks offer an account where only the following is required to open an account:

  • A valid South African ID.Proof of residence. A minimum deposit of R50. 

Accounts for Non-Resident Citizens

A non-resident is anyone whose place of residence or registration is outside of the common area, in our case South Africa. There are numerous benefits for non-residents as well but it varies according to each financial institution. If you are not a South African resident, and would like to open a bank account, you need to present the following information:

  • A valid passport. A valid visa. Proof of residence. A letter of introduction from your country of origination banker, stating your name, address and the period and conduct of your bank account.

It is essential to choose a bank account that suits all your financial needs. Banks have different accounts with their own benefits and features. The purpose of the account also plays a vital role. Whether you are making transactions on a daily basis or are saving for a holiday, you need to choose an account that will meet all your needs. Here are a few guidelines on how to choose an account that works for you:

  • Features – You need to consider the features of the account. The monthly fees, the interest rates and the withdrawal and transaction fees. You also need to consider the minimum opening balance and the minimum account balance.
  • Services – The services the account provides you with is also essential. Is there internet banking available and mobile access? Can I make direct debits, overseas transactions and is a cheque and overdraft facility available?
  • Benefits – The benefits available to each account needs to also be taken into consideration. Will they truly benefit you?

The type of account depends on your needs and how often you make transactions. It is essential to speak to a consultant for further assistance.

Type of Bank Account

Opening your own bank account is the beginning of effective financial freedom and management. However, it is imperative to select the correct account that suits your financial needs. Banks offer different accounts, so it is advisable to speak to one of the consultants for assistance. The different types of accounts offer unique services, charges and benefits; therefore it is important to select the account tailor made for you.

  1. Cheque or Current Account – A cheque or current account usually requires a minimum qualifying salary. Deposits, withdrawals, debits and transfers are permitted, and there are numerous benefits available for this daily, cost-effective account. The interest rates are usually low and there is a nominal monthly fee, and you can use your debit or cheque card to make payments and purchases.
  2. Credit Card – A credit account helps you expand your financial resources. The interest rates are relatively higher and you can also use this card to make payments and purchases. There is also a qualifying minimum salary and you usually don’t pay any transactional fees.
  3. Savings Account – Is a deposit account that helps you save and provides you with security at an affordable interest rate. Some banks allow saving accounts to be used as transactional accounts. The banks need to be given notice when a large withdrawal needs to be made. 
  4. Mzansi Account – This type of account has been created for those who deposit or withdraw money on an irregular basis and don’t have a regular income. The bank fees, interest rates and qualifying criteria are usually low. Withdrawals and deposits can be made with your debit card and your funds can be easily accessed and moved.
  5. Money Market Account – This investment account offers you competitively high market-related interest rates. It is similar to a savings account, but you need to maintain a higher balance and a minimum deposit is usually required. This flexible, short-term investment accounts benefits vary according to each bank, so speak to a consultant. 

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