How to change bank accounts

Switching bank accounts is quick and should take less than seven business days. At Investec, we simplify switching accounts with personalised service for changing debit orders and delivering your new card - to get you started with a tailored private banking experience.

Couple looking at their bank account on a laptop

Easy steps to change bank accounts

Switching banks need not be intimidating or time-consuming and at Investec we make it as efficient and seamless as possible.

However, before deciding to switch banks, do some research and compare different banks and their offerings, including interest rates, fees, rewards programmes and service reputation.

1. Open a new bank account

Visit the new bank's branch or website to open a new bank account. You’ll need to provide personal identification documents such as your ID book or card, proof of residence (like a utility bill) and possibly other documents depending on the bank’s requirements.

2. Notify your current bank

Inform your current bank that you intend to close your account. You can do this by visiting a branch, calling customer service or sending an official communication through the bank’s online banking platform.

3. Redirect transactions

Before closing your old account, make a list of all automatic payments, direct debits, debit or stop orders and scheduled payments linked to your old account. Inform the payees (eg, utility companies, employers and subscriptions etc) about your new bank account details to avoid disruptions in services.

4. Transfer funds

If you have money or funds in your old account, transfer them to your new account – unless you plan to be multi-banked (see below). You can do this using online banking, visiting a branch or through ATMs if applicable.

5. Update your banking information

Update your banking information with any entities that make deposits into your account, such as your employer, government agencies and clients if you’re self-employed.

6. Update account information

Update your new bank account details for bill payments and any approved/other beneficiaries you pay online or through debit orders (insurance premiums, loan payments and subscriptions etc).

7. Update ecommerce and payment platforms

If you use online platforms like PayPal, Payoneer, Google Wallet or Amazon Pay, update your banking information to ensure seamless transactions. Similarly, if you use shopping sites like Takealot or Loot, update your credit card details.

8. Close your old bank account

Once you're sure that all your payments and deposits have been redirected to your new account, visit your old bank’s branch or follow their procedures to close your old account.

9. Verify closure

After closing your old account, monitor your statements for a few months to ensure that no unexpected transactions or fees appear.

10. Dispose of old cards

Safely dispose of any old bank cards and other sensitive information associated with your old account to prevent identity theft.

11. Update personal contacts

You can also inform friends, family and professional contacts about your new bank account and account number if they frequently send you money.

Switching made painless –with an Investec Private Banker

With Investec Private Banking, your dedicated Private Banker and our transactional team are ready to assist you with opening a Private or Business Account seamlessly and quickly. We can also help you move over your debit orders and ensure that your card is delivered to you promptly. Even before your card is in your hands, you can transact and access the banking app. Our 24/7 Global Client Support is available to assist you with setting up and using your new Investec Private Bank Account - day or night.

Business professional and consultant talking about switching banks

Are you multi-banked?

You don’t always have to close your existing accounts when opening a new banking account.

Being multi-banked means having accounts at more than one bank. A primary bank account is typically the cheque or current account where you receive your salary or income and pay your accounts from.

Accounts at other banks are usually used for specific purposes: savings accounts, investments or to take advantage of better interest rates or rewards.

The main difference between a primary bank account and accounts at other banks is that the primary account is usually the one you use for your day-to-day banking needs, while the other accounts are used for specific purposes.

Frequently asked questions

  • How to switch banks in South Africa? Is it easy to switch bank accounts?

    How to switch banks in South Africa? Is it easy to switch bank accounts?

    Switching bank accounts in South Africa is an easy process. The  banking industry has implemented a system which makes it easier for customers to switch banks.

    This system ensures that all debit orders and other recurring payments are transferred to the new account and that the old account is summarily closed. 

  • What do I need to switch banks?

    What do I need to switch banks?

    To switch banks, you will need to provide your new bank with your old bank account details and they will typically take care of the rest.

    There may be fees associated with switching banks, so check with your new bank before making the move.

  • How long does it take to switch bank accounts?

    How long does it take to switch bank accounts?

    The time can vary depending on the banks involved and the complexity of your banking arrangements. However, the process can typically be completed within seven business days from the date you apply for a new account.

    Your new bank should have all your debit orders and other recurring payments set up on your new account and your old account should be closed.

    It is best to check with your new bank for an estimate of how long the process will take.

  • Will switching banks affect my credit score or record?

    Will switching banks affect my credit score or record?

    Switching banks should not have a direct impact on your credit score or record. Keep in mind, thet score is based on a number of factors (incl payment history, credit utilisation and length of credit history etc).

    If you have any outstanding debts or missed payments, these could affect your credit score regardless of whether you switch banks or not.

    When you apply for a new bank account, the bank may perform a credit check as part of the application process. While this credit check will show up on your credit report, it should not have a significant impact on your credit score.

  • What is the most common reason for someone to switch bank accounts?

    What is the most common reason for someone to switch bank accounts?

    One of the most common reasons is to take advantage of better interest rates or lower, reduced or consolidated fees offered by another bank. Other consumers may wish to access better rewards or loyalty programmes.

    A common reason for switching banks is to access better customer service or more convenient banking options.

    Some people switch banks because they are dissatisfied with their current bank's policies or practices. This could include issues such as poor communication, long wait times or a lack of transparency around fees and charges.

    The decision to switch banks will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It is important to do your research and compare different banks and their offerings before you make a decision.

  • If I switch banks, will I still have access to my financial records at my old bank?

    If I switch banks, will I still have access to my financial records at my old bank?

    Yes. You will still have access to your financial records at your old bank. Banks are required to keep records of their customers' transactions for a certain period of time (usually from five years to seven years).

    If you need to access prior financial records from your old bank, you can contactg the bank directly and request a copy of your statements or other records. There may be a fee associated with this service.

  • Can I keep my overdraft if I switch banks?

    Can I keep my overdraft if I switch banks?

    Switching banks doesn’t necessarily mean that you can keep your existing overdraft as it is dependent on the new bank approach and credit or lending policy.

    Some banks do offer switching incentives that include overdraft facilities. Always heck with the new bank to see what their policies are regarding existing overdrafts, credit facilities or personal loans.


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