Paying someone with real-time clearing (RTC) is expensive in South Africa. If you ever had to make an urgent payment to someone who banks with another bank to you, you know how ridiculous the fees can be.


PayShap, introduced by the South African Reserve Bank and operated by BankServe Africa, launched in March this year as an inclusive alternative to cash payments. It lets you make payments up to R3 000 in real time directly to a mobile number with clearance within a few seconds. It carries minimal fees attached to it, with fees differentiated by supporting banks.

PayShapUsers have to sign up for a PayShap ID tied to their bank accounts in order to receive payments in real-time; think of it as an email address that anyone can reach you almost instantly, without having to share your bank account details. PayShap acts as a proxy, and arguably a bit safer if you don’t want your banking details to get in the wrong hands.

PayShap initially launched on Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank in March, and as of last week, Discovery Bank was added to that list.

PayShap fees

  1. Absa charges R2.50 for <R200; R7.50 for between R200-R1000, and R45 above R1000.
  2. FNB is free <R100; and charges R6 >R100.
  3. Nedbank charges a R1 flat free between ShapIDs
  4. Standard Bank charges R7.50 for transactions up to R3000
  5. Discovery Bank charges R1 for <R100; R5 up to R1500; and 0.4% of the value over R1500 (R30 cap).

Well done to Nedbank for charging a R1 flat rate, and FNB for not charging anything for less than R100, but shocking that Standard Bank charges R7.50 – what about those who want to pay a taxi fare?

Using PayShap free between my bank accounts

  1. I have two mobile numbers. It helps if you have an eSIM, which needs to be supported on a hardware level on your device (free on Telkom or convert your Vodacom number). If you have two physical phones, that’s fine, too.
  2. I have two active bank accounts; FNB and Discovery Bank. I signed up for a PayShap ID for each account with one of my numbers.
  3. I’ve been transferring up to a maximum of R3000 from my FNB account into my Discovery Bank, but it’s not costing me anything to do that currently*.

* Even though I’ve listed the fees above, double check if your bank account type carries a cost. As of July 2023, I qualify on both my bank account types to use PayShap for free, which allows me to transfer money between my accounts in real-time without incurring ridiculous fees.

Paying minimal to no RTC fees in South Africa is a game changer when paying to a mobile number and not a bank account (your number is a proxy).

Ways that PayShap could be useful to me:

  1. Paying back friends who are on a different bank.
  2. Paying my domestic worker or gardener.
  3. Paying small businesses at food markets or similar.
  4. Paying car guards when you don’t have cash.
  5. Tipping petrol attendants.
  6. Giving tips to waiters who are not allowed to keep tips.
  7. Helping out those on the street.

Remember, PayShap is not a separate app. It is available in supported banking apps. It should be under the settings of your banking app under payments, where you should be able to register.

Visit PayShap for more info: