Bank Zero, a new play by Michael Jordaan and Yatin Narsai, is the latest banking venture to receive a provisional licence from the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb).
The 45% black-owned bank, due to launch in the fourth quarter, will be app driven and operate under 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),” Bank Zero said in a statement.
According to Jordaan, the bank’s offerings will be in line with modern day realities. “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.”
Jordaan and Narsai, tech entrepreneurs and banking innovators, spent a decade at FNB, during which the time the bank was recognised as the most innovative bank in the world.
In addition to Bank Zero, the Sarb has most recently issued banking licences to insurer Discovery and Tyme Digital by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, both of which are expected to launch offerings later this year.