In a world of numbers, citizen Zero stands tall. Despite its importance, Zero arrived much later, yet now is pivotal to the number system. Some even say Zero is infinity. Bank Zero is the newest citizen in South Africa's banking world, pivotal to the new banking revolution.
SA sees the birth of a new bank – Bank Zero
Michael Jordaan and Yatin Narsai launch app-driven bank that offers added control and transparency, and a fresh take on banking
16 January 2018: Bank Zero has been granted a provisional licence after a rigorous in-depth evaluation process by the South African Reserve Bank. The 45% black-owned bank is set to 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 (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.
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 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."
- Why Bank Zero?
- Provides customers with transparency and control over their finances – know at all times exactly what is happening in their account
- Enables true connectedness (from a financial aspect) in a digitally socially connected world – applicable to both individuals and businesses (or groupings of individuals)
- Simple fee structure
- Highly digital – none of the schlep of going into a branch or submitting paperwork
- Highly secure – uses latest thinking and cutting-edge technology
- Will Bank Zero have a physical branch / branch network? (ATMs)
- There will be no branches
- To access cash, customers can use ATMs both 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, to save customers the hassle of using unfriendly branches and/or call centres
- How will customers engage with Bank Zero in the absence of a physical branch?
- All communication will be app-driven
- e-mail communication will also be available
- In what ways does a mutual bank differ from a regular bank?
- Allows efficient use of capital which has a strong cost benefit. Mutual banks can choose to pass these cost benefits on to their customers (both businesses and individuals)
- Has a more conservative investment policy framework, which ensures financial stability
- Focuses on the creation of financial communities like clubs, families and businesses
- Customers can become shareholders, based on the type of savings products they have with us. (Once breakeven is reached, Bank Zero will be able to issue shares to interested deposit holders. These shares also carry voting rights at AGMs. This broad-based approach is undertaken to ensure all stakeholders are afforded the opportunity to have ownership in Bank Zero.)
- How will Bank Zero nurture a savings culture in SA?
- Helps nurture a strong savings culture by creating easy ways for financial communities like clubs, families and businesses to save individually or together
- Customers can become shareholders, based on the type of savings products they have with us, thereby enabling further savings
- Other specific innovations around savings will be shown later
- What is Bank Zero’s fee structure?
- It's highly competitive and based on a solid "value-for-money" ethic
- Customers will gain much more than what they pay, especially businesses
- Some particularly painful fee practices will be eradicated – but not revealing anything now
- What will customers be charged for withdrawing of money, depositing of money, swiping for purchases, etc.?
- To be disclosed later – the fees are highly competitive and based on a solid "value-for-money" ethic
- Why should consumers/businesses opt for Bank Zero over other low-cost banks?
- Superior functionality through well designed banking products and services
- Caters for all types of businesses including those that have complex banking needs. (Bank Zero addresses these needs simply and elegantly)
- Secure platform using latest thinking, cutting-edge technology and more
- Smart ecosystem enabling true connectedness in a digitally socially connected world
- How is Bank Zero more transparent in comparison to other banks?
- Simple fee structure
- Fast & easy processes with no paperwork – everything happens digitally and at all times the customer is aware of progress within a process
- Great clutter-free customer experience – really easy to get onboarded and get going
- Financial control – knowing what's really happening in their account at all times
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