A new app-driven bank, the brainchild of Michael Jordaan and Yatin Narsai, is set to launch in South Africa this year.
The 45% black-owned Bank Zero has been granted a provisional licence by the South African Reserve Bank, and will 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.
Founded by tech entrepreneur Michael Jordaan and banking innovator Yatin Narsai — who led FNB for a decade — Bank Zero will offer a 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, minimising typical admin-intensive processes 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”