Former FNB CEO and tech investor Michael Jordaan has announced plans to launch a new bank in South Africa, called Bank Zero.
According to the group, it has been granted a provisional licence by the South African Reserve Bank and is set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018. It will be 45% black-owned.
Bank Zero will make use of a mutual bank licence, it said, which mirrors current social media trends and benefits customers by allowing for the support and creation of financial communities.
Mutual banks, or mutual savings banks, are banks that typically operate without capital stock, and is owned by its members who subscribe to a common fund.
This, the bank said, will provide for a capital-efficient framework, and Bank Zero will be sharing the subsequent cost benefits with its customers (both businesses and individuals).
Founded by two game shakers and path makers in South Africa’s financial services industry, 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.
“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,” Jordaan said.
According to Narsai, who will also serve as Bank Zero’s CEO, the group will use mobile technology and other innovations to give more financial transparency and control to customers “in an intuitive, secure and affordable way”.
“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 customer,” he said.
The bank’s website state the following:
- There will be no branches.
- To access cash, customers can use ATMs locally and internationally. Cash-out at major local retailers will also be available.
- All processes have been designed from the ground up with digital interaction in mind.
- All communication will be app-driven. Email communication will also be available.
- Customers can become shareholders, based on the type of savings products they have.
Zero Bank will join at least three other new banking groups that are set to launch during the course of 2018. This includes Tyme Digital, Discovery Bank, and a reformed Postbank.