Students: it’s easy to master shared banking

Starting university is probably the most exciting phase of an education journey. It is a whole new world full of endless possibilities – but … the transition can be daunting as your new home away from home is bound to test your financial resolve.

The best way to avoid financial stress on top of the pressure of your studies is to have your money management figured out well before you even open a book, says Neil Thompson, Head of Product and Customer Value Proposition at African Bank.

There are many banking options for students, he says, but the main thing is whether the bank account ticks all the boxes for you and what value-adds the account offers.

“Even if you’ve never opened a bank account or done transactional banking, banking today isn’t rocket science. Reputable banks understand their customers lead busy lives and need convenience. They understand the needs of students as well as they do those of professionals and have developed products tailor-made for various life stages,” says Thompson.

He points out, however, there is an innate culture of sharing in families and this aspect of South African life was largely overlooked by the banking sector.

“Families are already sharing many things to make life easier, like property, transport and even their money by putting it into savings initiatives like stokvels. So, why not share banking?” Thompson asks.

African Bank’s MyWORLD hits the nail on the head when it comes to shared banking.

“MyWORLD is perfect for parents of students at university because of its joint account benefits. It’s the ideal way to provide your child with a means to do proper banking and at the same time loosen the apron strings and allow them financial independence.

“The biggest bonus is that not only does the account attract the highest interest rates and lowest bank charges but MyWORLD card holders get rewarded for swiping. You can redeem grocery, prepaid electricity or mobile data vouchers. These are just some essentials which can make life away from home for a student that much easier.”

Thompson explains how MyWORLD works.

  • If a parent opens a MyWORLD account, they automatically get access to a main account, a Power Pocket and a Savings Pocketand the option to open up a further three pockets to the account. A student can be given a Power Pocket to transact.


  • A Power Pocket 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 interest per annum on positive balances. And of course there is always the option if your child has already started transacting at school to give him his own Main account as soon as he turns 18. By that stage he/she is fully in control of managing their own finances.
  • A Pocket User can be added to a Savings Pocket and Power Pocket.
  • The Primary Account Holder can decide who is responsible for the pay-as-you-use transaction fees on each Pocket.
  • Pocket Users have financial freedom to transact as if it was their own bank account (potentially without any bank fees and certainly withouthaving to open an account of their own unless they would prefer to have that independence).
  • The Savings pocket also has its own unique account number but no card is linked to this pocket and it offers SA’s best interest rate.

Rates you need to compare:


Best Rates
MyWORLD Main account 3,5% per annum
Power Pocket 3,5% per annum
Savings Pocket 4,5%
Great Benefits
Up to six accounts with no monthly account fees

No inter-account transfer fees

No deposit fee for EFTs

No fees on any EFT payments

Zero rated cellphone banking, App, Internet Banking

Free online statements

Free POS purchases

SMS: R0.40c
ATM Balance Enquiry R3,00
POS Balance Enquiry R3,00
ATM withdrawal R6,00 per R1000
Cash withdrawal at Till point R2,00


Students will also be happy to see it is free to top up Prepaid airtime and electricity.

It is not only the independence the account offers students (your own separate account number, debit card and PIN and you can bank from anywhere at any time – your bed, the beach, your seat in a lecture hall) but the financial freedom the MyWORLD account offers too, Thompson adds.

“However, remember that when the money is gone from your own account it will be because you chose to spend it. This may be a good wake-up call and lesson in budgeting. There can be money for partying and entertainment if you work well with the money and optimise the benefits the MyWORLD account offers Pocket Users.”