African Bank launches new transaction account

African Bank in Hatfield, Pretoria. Picture: Theana Breugem
African Bank in Hatfield, Pretoria. Picture: Theana Breugem

The banking industry is seeing an increase in competition with the launch of TymeBank earlier this year and with the imminent launch of Discovery Bank.

As part of the increased competition for lower-cost banking, African Bank announced this week the launch of its MyWORLD Transaction Banking account. As with TymeBank it is a digital offering but provides a range of products, including transactional banking, personal loans, savings and investments and insurance.

It has no monthly fees and one can have up to five additional accounts linked to the main account. Price seems to have been a major driver behind the product design and CEO of African Bank, Basani Maluleke says that, based on the Solidarity Bank Charges Report methodology, the bank can now offer the cheapest transactional account in South Africa.

When a primary account holder opens a MyWORLD account, they get access to a primary account and two types of pockets — a power pocket and a savings pocket.

African Bank says a power pocket is unique in that it is the first pocket account in the industry to offer the user full transaction capability. It comes with its own account number, debit card and PIN and earns 5.5% interest a year on positive balances. This allows for multiple functionality and users.

A pocket user, who can be anyone that the primary account holder designates, can be added to both a savings pocket and a power pocket. User status allows the person full access to the pocket. The primary account holder can decide who is responsible for the pay-as-you-use transaction fees on each pocket. This feature could be useful for parents to give their children a bank card or could be given to a family member they are supporting financially.

Read: New banks are giving old ones a run for their money

The primary account holder can add up to 10 members on any pocket. As this person is a “member” and not a “user” they can add money to the account and view the balance, but may not make any withdrawals. This functionality can be used by informal savings clubs, church groups and any collection of people wishing to save together for a shared trip or activity.

The savings pocket allows the primary account holder to save at 6.5% interest a year on any positive balance while enjoying immediate access to their funds.

African Bank says MyWORLD operates on African Bank’s omni-channel platform that allows accounts to be opened and managed seamlessly through all the bank’s channels, including the website, app, cellphone, in the branches and through the contact centres.

“Our debit cards are personalised and embossed and are issued instantly on demand in any African Bank branch,” says George Roussos, group executive of digital and transactional banking at African Bank.

A customer can open a MyWORLD account online or via the app without having to visit the branch and seamlessly complete the application in a branch or contact centre.

The only requirement is to go into a branch to generate and receive their MyWORLD debit card.


There are no monthly fees and no fee when using your card to make purchases, but there are pay-as-you-use fees. The fees are competitive, particularly when it comes to declined fees – at only R3 per declined transaction. However, any disputed transactions carry a hefty price tag.

Electronic funds transfer: Free

ATM Balance enquiry: R3.00

ATM cash withdrawal: R6 per R1 000

Cash withdrawal at till point: R2

Debit order: R4

Declined ATM or POS (point of sale) fee: R3

Disputed debit order: R7.50

Disputed debit order after 40 days R60

POS & ATM purchase unsuccessful dispute: R50

Ger the full list of fees here.

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