African Bank has announced that it will be launching its new transactional bank account, MyWORLD, in the first half of 2019.
The launch of the new account will mark African Bank’s re-entry into the transactional banking market following the group’s collapse and subsequent curatorship in 2014.
Over the past four years, the group has reworked its strategy, and displayed consistent improvement in its financial results, which group CEO Basani Maluleke said: “reflects the sustained progress we have made in transforming the Bank, since emerging from curatorship”.
“While we will continue to be, a significant and responsible provider of unsecured credit to South African consumers, we are also diversifying our products and distribution channels to provide a holistic solution to our customers,” she said.
For the year ending September 2018, the group reported operating profit for the year up 29% to R1.45 billion, compared to R1.13 billion for the period ended 30 September 2017.
The group also confirmed a 2019 launch for its new transactional account.
According to the group, the MyWORLD account has been in testing since April 2018, with over 3,000 successful activations by African Bankers, with the group’s banking app also being tested.
“Employees have been testing the African Bank App, which enables users to access all African Bank products, including savings and investments, personal loans, credit card and transactional banking in App or via the Web,” the group said.
The biggest differentiator of MyWORLD, African Bank said, is a “shared banking” proposition.
“MyWORLD has been specifically designed to enable groups of people (e.g. families, friends, communities) to save together while enjoying the best savings rates, and bank together, to benefit from the lowest bank fees.”
The account will also “compete strongly” in the digital space, the bank said.
“South Africans will be able to easily open an account and manage their finances anywhere, anytime, in person or remotely, individually or in groups,” it said.
African Bank added that its branch network of some 391 branches, which have been fully refreshed and modernised, will remain an option for customers who prefer the personal and interactive touch of our branch consultants.
African Bank will join several other new banking groups to enter the South African banking market in 2019.
Discovery Bank recently unveiled its banking offering, with a focus on behavioural and rewards-based banking, with a first-quarter 2019 launch planned.
TymeBank, owned by billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital, has already soft-launched, with full services expected to run in the same quarter.
Bank Zero, founded by former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan, has also drip-fed information about its banking offering, with a planned launch by mid-2019.
All the new banking offerings are putting particular focus on digital, with the goal of disrupting the big legacy banks, which carry large overheads and onerous systems.