Student life is fun but financially difficult. You must decide how to pay for college and living expenses, whether via parents, bursaries, scholarships, or loans. Choose where to store your money and manage your income and spending. You should consider tuition, books, student housing and food. Our thorough article on financing and managing student money with the main South African banks will help you choose.

Banks For Students In South Africa

First National Bank (FNB)

Specifically designed to meet the financial requirements of students under 25, the FNB Youth account is a shining example of contemporary banking ease. For young folks just starting out with money, it’s more than just transactions—it’s a full-featured financial toolbox.

The FNB mobile app, which is well-known for its user-friendly interface and extensive features, is its standout feature even if it doesn’t get much attention. This account fits the busy lifestyle of young people by facilitating quick and easy debit order management and fast GEOPay payments. It also gives them the ability to manage their funds effectively.

In addition to its intuitive layout, the account provides a multitude of saving choices, enabling students to develop sound financial practices and establish realistic objectives for their future. The low monthly cost further sweetens the pot by guaranteeing accessibility without sacrificing quality and laying the groundwork for success and financial freedom.


Monthly Fee: R0

  • Free online banking with unlimited internal debit orders, electronic payments, and transfers;
  • FNBy Next Card;
  • Rewards and discounts;
  • Save and transact in foreign currencies;
  • Access to an educational video library;

Qualifying Criteria

  • South African citizenship
  • Age between 18-24

Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (ABSA)

The ABSA student silver account, positioned as a shining example of all-inclusive banking options, appeals to students who have an eye for simplicity and affordability. It is the entry point to a world of special advantages and incentives that extend beyond the confines of conventional banking.

Even if its monthly cost could be a little bit more, it makes up for it with a plethora of special features that meet the varied demands and goals of young people. Among these perks are R50 take-away or grocery vouchers, 1 GB of free data every month to stay connected and up to 30% discount at selected gyms.

But these benefits aren’t freebies; instead, they require regular interaction with the bank, so each one bears witness to the user’s responsible money management and dedication to their financial security. To get access for those benefits, you must complete at least five debit or credit banking transactions per month.

In summary, the ABSA Student Account is more than simply a banking service; it’s a partner in young people’s financial journeys, assisting them in confidently and easily achieving their objectives.

Monthly Fee: R0

  • Unlimited Absa online, mobile, and telephone banking transactions.
  • NotifyMe SMS and email notifications.
  • Various transactional benefits at ABSA ATMs.

Qualifying Criteria

  • Age between 18 and 27.
  • Full-time student status.
  • South African ID or passport.
  • Proof of residence not more than three months old


The Unlocked.me account from Nedbank is the perfect example of customized banking services for the active 16–26 year old market. It is evidence of Nedbank’s dedication to empowering young people and assisting them in reaching their financial objectives.

This account defies convention by offering no monthly fees, guaranteeing accessibility for all young people while striking a harmonic balance between price and usefulness. But the multitude of extra perks and bonuses that the Unlocked.me account offers really makes it stand out.

These features take the banking experience to a whole new level. Free data bundles and enticing meal coupons are just a few of the carefully designed benefits that appeal to young people’s tastes and way of life while encouraging them to be loyal and grateful to the bank. For today’s and tomorrow’s youth, the Unlocked.me account is essentially more than just a banking service—it’s a platform for development, financial success, and empowerment.

Monthly Fee: R0

  • 100 MB of free data
  • R20 coffee voucher
  • Online purchase capabilities.
  • Food – R30 voucher

Additional Monthly Rewards (With Qualifying Transactions):

  • 2-for-1 Nu Metro popcorn
  • R20 Taxify voucher

Qualifying Criteria

  • Age between 16 and 26;
  • South African ID or passport;
  • Proof of residence


The Investec Youth account, which is only available to well-adjusted young people under 25, stands out in the banking industry as a symbol of refinement and exclusivity. It is a smooth fusion of opulence and financial empowerment, tailored to the particular requirements and goals of young people.

This account includes free airtime purchases and premium interest rates. Even while the advantages are clearly appealing, it’s important to be aware of the ATM withdrawal costs, which are a little drawback compared to the overall benefits.

Setting a new benchmark for banking innovation and quality, Investec instills a feeling of distinction and ambition in its young customers by fusing financial empowerment with a hint of luxury.

Monthly Fee: R0

  • Online banking features.
  • Investec Youth App to manage your financial path
  • Savings account with premium interest rates.
  • Lounge access to SAA-owned and Bidvest Premier lounges
  • Unlimited free transactions at retailers, local and international
  • Free airtime purchases.

Qualifying Criteria

  • Age under 25.
  • Proof of address
  • Valid South African ID.
  • Guardian’s ID for under 18 account holders

Standard Bank

The Student Achiever Account from Standard Bank offers a wide range of financial services and perks, making it a reliable companion for those between the ages of 16 and 24 on their financial journey. Presented as more than simply a financial instrument, it aims to improve customers lives by providing a range of additional advantages that meet their various requirements and goals.

Even while there is a small monthly cost, the true value is in its dedication to holistic development, which gives young individuals the confidence and comfort to pursue their dreams. Every element, from monthly prizes in the form of mobile data to discounts on educational platforms, is carefully chosen to encourage young people’s academic and personal development and give them the tools they need to face the challenges of contemporary life with resilience and confidence.

All things considered, the Student Achiever Account is more than simply a banking service; it’s a companion on the path to achievement and financial independence, helping young individuals along the way.

Monthly Fee: R11.50

  • Electronic debit transactions.
  • Free cash withdrawals and deposits at Standard Bank ATMs.
  • Unlimited swipes at till points.

Additional Benefits:

  • 50% discount on your subscription to Siyavula – a good option for high school students
  • Free airtime or mobile data monthly.

Qualifying Criteria

  • South African ID.
  • Proof of enrollment.
  • Proof of residence not older than 3 months.
  • Income below R3000 per month for part-time students.

How To Make A Decision for Choosing the Best Bank?

Finding the bank and product that best meets your requirements and evaluating your circumstances are the first steps in making the proper decision. List the things you need from a bank and the estimated costs of your education when you sit down to write them down. You can choose which bank’s product best suits your demands after you have a general idea of what you want from a bank account. Products will be swiftly narrowed down for you to compare directly in terms of price and other advantages. Finally, don’t be scared to compare prices. Banks often agree to negotiated interest rates and repayment terms. As an alternative, there are other organizations other than banks that may provide loans that can help you pay for your education.