Stores in the Shoprite Group will now accept cash

Stores in the Shoprite Group will now accept cash deposits at points of sale. (Image supplied.)

* This article has been updated below.

Customers can now deposit cash directly onto their bank cards at all Shoprite, Checkers, and Usave stores, for a single flat rate, to reflect in their bank accounts.

This means shoppers can now perform several basic banking services at all of the Shoprite group's points of sale, including some account payments, airtime top-ups, and cash withdrawals – in a move similar to that of Pick n Pay’s last year, 

The Shoprite Group says the service will add a new layer of convenience for its customers, many of whom receive salaries in cash and reside in rural areas, where bank branches and ATMs are scarce. 

The group currently has a footprint of 1,700 stores that will accept these deposits, and many keep hours that are longer than banks and are often open on weekends.

The service works much the same as it does at Pick n Pay: shoppers simply need to present a MasterCard or Visa card at a point of sale, along with the cash they wish to deposit, and the teller will handle the transaction.

Customers can deposit up to R3,000 in cash per transaction at stores within the Shoprite Group, compared to Pick n Pay’s R5,000 limit. Most banks and ATMs will take significantly more than this.

Ten of the country’s biggest banks are on board with Shoprite at present, including Nedbank, First National Bank, Investec, Standard Bank, African Bank, TymeBank, Discovery Bank, Bidvest Bank, Sasfin and Grobank. 

As with Pick n Pay’s equivalent cash deposit feature, the list of participating banks currently notably excludes Capitec.

Shoprite, as with Pick n Pay, charges a flat rate of R19.95 per transaction. Most banks are currently steering their deposits towards ATMs rather than branches - and these typically have a fee-free threshold of either R1,500 or R3,000, after which a sliding per R100 scale increases the fees.

That makes it tricky to compare their costs to those of the retail stores.

In order to compare the differences in fees, Business Insider used the scenarios of depositing R1,500, R3,000, and R5,000 respectively in cash, using each bank’s cheapest entry-level account - when using ATMs for deposits.

The sliding scale from each bank offering means fees will be more attractive to different types of users. In general, though, the flat fee of R19.95 charged by both supermarket groups starts to get more competitive at the upper limits of the cash they will accept.

Comparison of cash deposits at banks versus superm

Comparison of cash deposits at banks versus supermarkets.

This article was updated after publication to correct the correct cash deposit fees for Standard Bank. A previous version misstated the cost of ATM deposit fees. Business Insider South Africa apologises for the error.