Bank Zero, a new app-driven bank, has been granted a provisional licence after a rigorous in-depth evaluation process by the South African Reserve Bank. The 45% black-owned bank is set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Bank Zero will make use of a mutual bank licence. The mutual banking concept mirrors current social media trends and benefits customers by allowing for the support and creation of financial communities. It also provides for a capital-efficient framework, and Bank Zero will be sharing the subsequent cost benefits with its customers (both businesses and individuals).
Founded by tech entrepreneur Michael Jordaan and banking innovator Yatin Narsai – who together built FNB into the most innovative bank in the world under their decade-long leadership – Bank Zero will offer a unique and fresh approach to banking without any legacy systems which can be costly to maintain.
Businesses, individuals, families and communities will benefit through Bank Zero’s products and services which are in tune with modern day realities, says co-founder and Chairman, Michael Jordaan. “Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram are the new normal for societies. Why shouldn’t banks also innovate in this era of wider connectedness whilst still ensuring a robust banking value proposition? Bank Zero is addressing these realities, while employing cutting-edge technologies and delivering state-of-the-art security.”
Bank Zero is part of the new frontier of banking which has arrived through smartphones and associated digital technologies, says co-founder and CEO Yatin Narsai. “Beyond the mobile technology revolution, other innovations will bring more financial transparency and control to our customers in an intuitive, secure and affordable way,” he adds. “Coupled with the mutual banking concept, this will help nurture a savings culture in South Africa. New technologies, together with tried-and-tested account features like chip-and-pin cards, will deliver real value to our customers.”
The other formidable co-founders also have extensive experience and knowledge of banking through their previous specialist roles in financial services. Yatin is full of praise for the team, “Innovation is hard work, it needs a business culture where everyone contributes and is free to challenge. Such passion is in itself innovative; it is our DNA.”