Universal Branch Codes For All Banks In South Africa (Updated 2024)

We will explain universal branch codes and why they are essential for a better understanding of financial transactions.

Sandra Ti
Finance Journalist
Published: Jun 4, 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • A universal branch code is a unique six-digit number used by banks in South Africa to enhance security, efficiency, and transaction simplicity.
  • When making a domestic or international wire transfer in South Africa, the sender is required to provide the universal branch code and account number. To do this, enter the universal branch code in the designated field and the account number in the appropriate section.
  • Discovering the correct universal branch code is a breeze. Consult your bank statements or chequebook. Usually, a six-digit code is conveniently printed near your bank account number.
  • The universal branch code plays a pivotal role in ensuring the accuracy of your transaction; neglecting to provide the correct code can lead to a delayed or even rejected bank transfer.

In South Africa, all banks allocate universal branch codes to bank accounts. For correct transaction, you must share this six-digit universal branch code and your bank account number to send or receive payment. At RandHub, we will cover an updated (as of 2024) list of universal branch codes for all banks in South Africa.

South African Bank Universal Branch Codes 2024

Bank Name Universal Branch Code
Absa Bank 632 005
Capitec Bank 470 010
First National Bank (FNB) 250 655
Investec Bank 580 105
Nedbank 198 765
Standard Bank 051 001
African Bank 430 000
Mercantile Bank 450 905
TymeBank 678 910
Bidvest Bank 679 000
Sasfin Bank 683 000
Bank of Athens 410 506
RMB Private Bank 222 026
South African Post Bank (Post Office) 460 005
Hollard Bank 585 001
Discovery Bank 679 000
Standard Chartered Bank 730 020
Barclays Bank 590 000
Investec Bank Limited 580 105
Mercantile Bank Limited 450 905

What are Universal Branch Codes?

A universal branch code is a unique six-digit numeric digit used to identify the specific bank and branch where the account was initially opened. South Africa’s banking system uses it to know precisely where payment is going or coming. Every South African bank account is assigned a universal branch code.

When Do You Need a Universal Branch Code?

A universal branch code is a unique identifier assigned to each bank branch in South Africa. It is necessary when processing transactions involving South African banks. If you want to send or receive payment to your bank account, you also need a universal branch code and your bank account.

Grasping the practicality of universal branch codes in various scenarios in South Africa is a smart move for your financial preparedness. Let’s explore some common situations where your understanding of universal branch codes can come in handy:

  • Each bank branch requires a universal branch code when processing domestic wire transfers within South Africa: For instance, Standard Bank’s universal branch code is 051001, and ABSA Bank’s is 632005. These codes enable banks to route money accurately and efficiently during domestic bank wire transfers.
  • When processing a transfer from abroad to South Africa: In simple words, if you are overseas and want to send money to a bank account located in South Africa, you will need to know the beneficiary’s universal branch code, bank account number, and other details for a successful transaction.
  • Setting up direct debits in South Africa: Direct debits are payment methods in which you authorize a third party to collect money directly from your account, once or regularly. To set up a direct debit, you must provide your universal branch code and bank account number. This information allows the third party to accurately identify your bank branch and account, ensuring the smooth processing of your payments.
  • When registering for mobile or online banking in South Africa: If you have a South African bank account and want to set up online banking, you’ll need an account number and universal branch code.

What Does a Universal Branch Code Look Like?


Typically, a universal branch code is a six-digit group of numbers. For example, FNB Bank’s UBC is 250655. The first starting digits show the bank code, and the remaining digits refer to the branch code.

Where Can I Find My Bank’s Universal Branch Code?

Once you understand the universal branch code, the next step is to find it. The good news is that locating your universal branch code is not difficult; it’s somewhere within your financial documents, such as your bank statements, chequebooks, or online banking profiles.

The universal branch code can be found in various places. It’s typically listed on your bank statements, printed in your chequebook, accessible through your mobile banking app, visible in your online banking account, and sometimes even embossed on your debit card (as shown in the image below). This multitude of sources ensures that you can always access your universal branch code when needed. If you do not find it anywhere, contact your bank’s customer care or visit their website.

The universal branch code is a crucial component of your banking experience, and you need it every time you set up a new payment route for your bank account in South Africa. Understanding its importance ensures smooth and hassle-free banking transactions.


Why Is the Universal Branch Code Important?

The universal branch code is an important part of banking in South Africa. It allows financial institutions to confirm the validity of a payment transfer and route the money to the beneficiary’s accounts.

Incorrect or absence of a universal branch code can result in payment delay, rejection, or even misdelivered, which causes hassle and possible fees for both the sender and the recipient, especially international transfers. So, before making transactions, ensure the correct universal branch code and bank account number.

What Happens if You Provide the Wrong Universal Branch Code?

Using the wrong universal branch code can have serious consequences. Your payment may be delayed, rejected, or even delivered to the wrong bank account. This seemingly small mistake can lead to significant inconvenience, additional fees, or even a loss of funds that could have been avoided.

If you lose your money due to the wrong universal branch code, your bank may try to get it back, but it won’t often be liable if you lose any money. Therefore, it is crucial to adopt the best practice of diligently double-checking your universal branch code and other banking details before initiating any transaction.

In case you missed it 😊

What is a universal branch code, and what is it used for?

A universal branch code is a unique six-digit code used in the South African banking system to identify banks and their branches for electronic payments (domestic and international).

How do I find my bank’s universal branch code?

Discovering your bank’s universal branch code is straightforward. It can be found on your bank statement, bank card, online mobile banking, or debit card, or by simply contacting your bank.

How long does a transfer with a universal branch code take to go through?

When it comes to the transfer time with a universal branch code, it’s important to note that this duration is influenced by the banks involved. As a general guideline, such transfers typically take 3-5 business days to complete.

What is Standard Bank’s universal branch code?

The Standard Bank universal branch code is 051001 in South Africa. You must give this code to anyone sending money to you from overseas.

What is the universal branch code for ABSA Bank?

ABSA bank’s universal branch code is 632005 in South Africa.

Does FNB have a universal branch code?

The FNB universal branch code, 250655, is readily available for your convenience. You can find it on your bank statements or simply contact the bank directly. This ease of access should reassure you and instill confidence in your financial transactions.

Does Nedbank have a universal branch code?

The Nedbank universal branch code is 198765. You’ll need to give this code to anyone sending money to you from overseas or within Nedbank in South Africa.

What is the Capitec Bank universal branch code?

The Capitec Bank universal branch code, 470010, is a must-know for all Capitec Bank account holders in South Africa. It’s not just a number, but a key to successful fund transfers. Providing this code accurately is essential, underlining the importance of precision in financial transactions.

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