Following multiple delays and years of controlled testing, South Africa’s newest digital bank, Bank Zero, officially launched to the public on Tuesday. Access to the app will be “throttled” initially, the bank said, to ensure that staff responsible for verifying FICA documents can keep up with the volumes.
To sign up, new clients will have to join the bank’s waiting list. Requests to join will be released in batches of a few thousand at a time. Bank Zero was announced in January 2018 after it was evaluated by the South African Reserve Bank and granted a provisional mutual bank licence. The app-driven bank is the brainchild of tech entrepreneur Michael Jordaan and banking innovator Yatin Narsai, two figures well known for spearheading FNB’s digital banking transformation.
Its core value proposition was offering a bank account with no monthly subscription fee and lower transaction costs than conventional banking accounts. Bank Zero does not rely on the traditional banking structures of established banks like head offices, branches, and numerous employees.
Instead, it runs entirely on an app, intending to put digital interaction and communication front and centre. To access cash, customers can use any ATM or cash out at major local retailers. Initially, Jordaan said Bank Zero would “hopefully” launch in late 2018.
In October 2018, the bank announced it had integrated with SARB’s national payments system, allowing it to begin alpha testing with a small team validating its end-to-end live systems and processes.
Limited testing among its staff began in March 2019, with a soft launch date to the public planned for the second half of 2019.
This date was revised to 2020, with Narsai, the bank’s CEO, stating that the Bank Zero team did not want the additional complexity of a soft launch to interfere with the focus on the wider launch of the bank.
In November 2019, Bank Zero announced its patented debit card had gone live to undergo rigorous security and system trials through simulated card attacks and card fraud detection tests. In May 2020, Jordaan told MyBroadband that Bank Zero was planning to launch a controlled beta to the public in the second half of 2020, which went live in September.
With its official launch coming more than three and a half years after its announcement, Bank Zero is now facing tough competition from banks who have responded with similar low-cost products.
For example, TymeBank, which launched around a year after Bank Zero got its mutual banking licence, has its EveryDay Account with no monthly fees, account initiation fees, card issuing fees, or card usage fees.
It also provides a savings tool that lets users create 10 saving accounts and earn up to 7% interest.
FNB and Nedbank also offer zero-monthly fee accounts with their respective Easy Zero and Pay-as-you-use products.
The former allows customers to open a bank account in a few minutes via a USSD shortcode. Capitec also lets customers create a bank account with a virtual credit card using only its app.
In addition, the other two big banks, Absa and Standard Bank, also offer pay-as-you-use type accounts for less than R5 per month.
Source – MyBroadBand
In other news – Man who prophesied Mpura and Killer Kau’s death goes viral
The news of their death was made known today as it was said they died in a car crash. The man with the Twitter name, Masechaba Senwedi shared tweets from April, directing to the two stars.
In the post, the man stated that Mpura and Killer Kau will be involved in a car accident later this year. Read More