South Africa
Sign in
Personal
Business
Wealth
How to open a bank account

How to open a bank account

A bank account is a safe and convenient way to manage your money. All you need is your ID Book and proof of residence to open a bank account.

Have you been keeping your cash under your mattress or in a tin can? If so, it's time to start thinking about opening your first bank account.  It's a lot easier to keep track of how much money you have, while keeping it safe in a bank account. Banks offer different types of accounts so it's important to find one that suits your needs and offers low fees.

A basic transactional account should provide the following:

  • A debit card that allows you to withdraw and deposit money
  • SMS notifications of your transactions 
  • Cellphone banking that offers you the convenience of banking with minimal or no cost with your transactional account, your will be given a secret pin for your eyes only. This means that you are the only one who has access to your hard earned cash and can keep it safe and sound.

Here's what you need to be WalletWise and open a bank account: 

1. Your ID Book or Passport (with a valid study or work permit for example)

You need a green bar coded ID, Smart ID Card or Passport to open a bank account. You cannot use your driver's licence.

2. Proof of residence

By law, you need to provide proof of residence like a utility bill. If you don't have one in your name, get a form from your bank for your landlord to fill in, confirming that you stay on the property. Take this form along with a utility bill to your bank. If you stay on a tribal land or informal settlement ask the local chief or councillor to write a letter confirming you live there.

Who qualifies to open an account?

  • Locals
  • Foreign Nationals living in South Africa