Powerful
Banking

at Zero cost

A simple and modern App-driven
bank for both individuals and businesses,
with a fresh approach towards banking.

Focussed on solving real banking problems
which you struggle with every day.

About

Us

We’re passionate about what we do.
We love what technology can achieve
and we respect how banking could impact your life.

Why did we build Bank Zero?

Bank Zero was designed with great care and passion
  • Connectedness is a key principle, especially in today’s digitally connected world. Financial connectedness is important, whether you are an individual, a business, a community, a family or a savings club.
  • You should have full view of your finances at all times. Lack of visibility could lead to wrong decisions and fraudulent transactions.
  • We hate paperwork, and where admin is sometimes necessary, we hope you’ll enjoy experiencing our simple, digital, clutter-free processes.
  • We are fixated on security. From pervasive encryption in our back-end infrastructure through our biometric FICA processes to our secure App.
  • SA bank customers currently pay too much for banking – and we want to change that. Since we announced our bank in Jan 2018, there has been some SA industry shifts towards bringing down pricing, but with a focus on only entry-level accounts for individuals. (Individuals are still forced to pay more should they want to upgrade to better functionality, and businesses have had little relief.) With Bank Zero the same innovative functionality is available to all customers (both individuals and businesses).

Our Story

Read more about our journey here
  • The co-founders (and rest of the Bank Zero team) have a combination of deep and diverse banking and technology skills, with extensive experience in and knowledge of banking through previous roles in financial services and tech. Bank Zero is 45% black-owned and 20% women-owned.
  • The banking licence was officially gazetted on 7 Sept 2018. Building a full settlement and clearing bank from scratch with lots of new innovation and super-tight security took time.
  • The full core banking platform was built from scratch. The decision was made to not outsource nor buy a traditional “off-the-shelf” banking package. Such packages are designed for traditional banks and require extensive and expensive customisation – which would cost billions and which customers end up paying for. It’s then also difficult to build innovation in right from the start. Plus the complex customisation introduces unnecessary risk.
  • During end 2018 Bank Zero became a full settlement bank by directly integrating with the South African Reserve Bank’s system. And in early 2019 Bank Zero integrated into the rest of the national payments system to become a full clearing bank. (This might sound technical, but in short means that Bank Zero doesn’t work on top of another bank’s licence.)
  • During end 2019 Bank Zero was officially certified by both the South African Reserve Bank as well as Mastercard to issue and process debit cards. Bank Zero cards can be used both locally and internationally – and in both the eCommerce world and the bricks-and-mortar world.
  • Bank Zero doesn’t offer credit – but will however in future partner with a credit provider, as it’s always better for customers to have all services on one banking App.
  • How does Bank Zero keep costs to customers so low? Cost efficiency is built in at all levels. The bank is extremely prudent with capital.
  • Why does low cost not mean low security? Where required, Bank Zero didn’t back away from smart investments in highly advanced security technologies. Protecting customers’ money is a top priority, whether that money is in-flight between banks or at-rest within Bank Zero. The Bank Zero “vaults” are literally layers and layers of sophisticated technology.
  • Bank Zero is a bunch of nerds! The Zero name was chosen for two reasons. Firstly because most pricing is Zero, but also because Zero is one of the most pivotal numbers in our numbering system. If you look closely, you’ll see that even our bank’s branch code is made up of zeroes and 8’s (with the latter looking like rotated infinity signs).

Join Bank Zero now

Add your name to the Waiting List

Email your name and email address that you will use to access the app from Google playstore or Apple appstore to info@bankzero.co.za

Get Your

App

On top of the Zero (or low) fees,
what defines Bank Zero is its functionality.

To experience this innovative functionality yourself,
add your name to the Waiting List in the above About Us section.
You will be sent an exclusive invite to download the Bank Zero App.

Get Your

App

On top of the Zero (or low) fees,
what defines Bank Zero is its functionality.

To experience this innovative functionality yourself,
add your name to the Waiting List in the Contact Us section.

You will be sent an exclusive invite to download the Bank Zero App.

Guides and Demoes

Business

Banking

Bank Zero caters for businesses with turnovers
from really small to in the billions.

Most banks don’t offer the required banking solutions
to support businesses. This changes forever with Bank Zero.

Total
Control

The power of
3 x 3

Show More

Within a few minutes, build your own authorisation chain of up to 3 levels, with up to 3 authorisers per level.

Add, remove or move authorisers real-time by dragging their face tiles to the relevant level – all from the comfort of your desk or couch.

Example

Seamless
Integration

Link to external
accounting software

Show More

Connect Xero directly to your Bank Zero account and automatically import your transactional data.

No more manual data entries.

Xero Website

Easy
Downloads

With a swipe and a tap,
straight into Excel

Show More

Transaction history viewable on your App can be downloaded straight into an Excel file.
Just swipe down to the date from when you want to download, tap the Excel icon, and save the file.
Available on all Bank Zero accounts, for both businesses and individuals

Full
Transparency

All owners receive all
notifications

Show More

Bank Zero was created to provide much-needed relief to businesses through fraud protection mechanisms.

All owners have full line of sight by receiving all notifications on all banking activity on all your business accounts – at Zero cost.

Total
Control

The power of
3 x 3

Show More

Within a few minutes, build your own authorisation chain of up to 3 levels, with up to 3 authorisers per level.

Add, remove or move authorisers real-time by dragging their face tiles to the relevant level – all from the comfort of your desk or couch.

Example

Seamless
Integration

Link to external
accounting
software

Show More

Connect Xero directly to your Bank Zero account and automatically import your transactional data.

No more manual data entries.

Xero Website

Easy
Downloads

With a swipe and a tap, straight
into Excel

Show More

Transaction history viewable on your App can be downloaded straight into an Excel file.
Just swipe down to the date from when you want to download, tap the Excel icon, and save the file.
Available on all Bank Zero accounts, for both businesses and individuals

Full
Transparency

All owners
receive all
notifications

Show More

Bank Zero was created to provide much-needed relief to businesses through fraud protection mechanisms.

All owners have full line of sight by receiving all notifications on all banking activity on all your business accounts – at Zero cost.

Getting started

A few easy, simple and helpful steps

Step 1 – Documents you need to add your business

  • Proof that business exists (e.g. for Pty’s CIPC Disclosure Certificate OR CoR30.1 | Annual Returns OR CoR 14.3).
  • CIPC name change document if trading under another name.
  • Proof of Address and affidavit if property not in business’s name.
  • Names and cell numbers of all directors, shareholders and ultimate beneficial owners. Also those officials you want to use in your authorisation chain or as relationship bankers.
  • When the shareholders are businesses, their registration / trust / etc numbers.

Step 2 – We auto-populate your other documents
…and email them to you once you have added your business – all you have to do is sign:

  • Resolution for mandated officials
  • Ownership / control structure that shows all shareholders and ultimate beneficial owners with more than 25% shareholding
  • Proof of Address affidavit

Step 3 – Add your business

  • Use your App on an Android device to load your business and perform all related FICA tasks (iOS business adding is coming soon)
  • Tap the ‘+’ on the grey empty tile on your banking canvas, then choose ‘Add business’
  • All owners and officials and directors and ultimate beneficial owners, as well as any relationship bankers can be added on one single simple powerful screen. Set up your authorisation chain for your main account now, or later.
  • Watch out for any messages from us should you need to re-submit any documentation. (Just follow the task prompts)

Special

Features

A Zero pricing strategy is important,
but that’s not enough.

Offering innovative functionality to
ensure control and transparency, is critical.

Both businesses and individuals require
significantly more functionality than what
is currently available to solve
daily banking problems.

Card Subscriptions
Control

A world first – security
under your control

Show More

As part of Bank Zero’s focus on security, we request an App-phone authorisation for ALL online purchases – whether the site does secure purchasing or even if it’s unsecure (often targeted by criminals).

Since App-phone authorisations are impractical for subscriptions posted by online news sites and others, we allow you to select which sites may bypass your App-phone authorisation. All under your control on the Card Settings screen.

Special
Card Patent

No more card
skimming

Show More

The Bank Zero card patent provides a simple but innovative solution to ensure cutting-edge security. It minimises the impact of card data theft, card skimming and fraudulent eCommerce transactions.

The 16-digit card number doesn’t change each time you replace your card – unless you want to – which means card details for digital subscription services don’t have to be reset

Rogue
Debit Orders

We hate them!
And we protect you.

Show More

If a NEW debit order is loaded, we warn you with a red task on your App. Check the provided details, and reject immediately if you don’t recognise this.

All at Zero cost to you.

Bank Zero prevents rogue debit orders from hitting your account, as long as you keep your eye out for the red Bank Zero tasks.

Intuitive
Design

A Quick Start Guide
to the magic

Show More

The App was kept light and simple and intuitive.

There are some unique features that you would not have encountered before – specifically the dragging and dropping of account tiles.

We want to help you discover this and other features, so please start off by looking at this one-page Quick Start Guide.

Download Bank Zero Quick Start Guide

Ecosystem

It’s all about digital
connectedness

Show More

Being both digitally and financially connected is a reality of how humans operate. Bank Zero mirrors this directly in its design.

Directly connect your Bank Zero accounts (and/or profile) with family, friends, children, staff, co-owners of businesses, club/stokvel members, or basically anyone you choose. Share information, allow sharing (or not) of funds, and remain up to speed on all transactional banking matters relevant to you or those you connect to.

Smart Scheduled
Payments

Easily managing
your finances

Show More

These are simple but powerful tools to make life easier, and are offered by most banks.

A nifty feature though on your Bank Zero App is that you receive tasks for all scheduled payments / transfers that will run the next morning. This allows you time to check your account balance for sufficient funds. It also allows you time to decide if you want to change or even cancel it. And you have time to do this right up until just before it runs – no more 2 days’ notice required.

Relationship
Banking

Supporting you with
all banking admin

Show More

For those assistants, staff members, family members or anyone doing banking admin on your behalf… just load their cell numbers against the accounts and/or recipients they must be able to access.

If you’re a business, their transactions will follow the authorisation chain you’ve set up. If you’re an individual, you as the account owner will authorise (or reject).

Clever
Card Control

From ATM to Online
transactions

Show More

Use your App to control your Bank Zero card. Lock it fully if temporarily misplaced or lock partially to control ATM use. You can even select what type of ATM use is allowed.

Control who does your online card authorisations; decide whether a PIN is required for small tap transactions; and more – download to see everything you can do.

QR Payments
& Receipts

Unique QR code for
easy micro payments

Show More

Pay anyone in the Bank Zero ecosystem with a quick QR code scan, at Zero cost to you.

Receive payment by sharing your QR code without sharing any other detail (account or cell number). Only pay 0.5% of amount received – less than average market pricing. Add your QR code to your invoice or your till point or your website!

… and if you rather want to use any other QR solutions available in the market, just load your Bank Zero card onto those Apps.

Proof of Payment
(PoP)

Authenticated tracing
with supporting info

Show More

A PoP is emailed on your request, at Zero cost to you. Not only can these PoPs be authenticated, they also contain valuable supporting information for businesses and individuals alike.

While making payment, upload relevant docs such as invoices or contracts. These docs are then displayed in the PoP.

The PoP also shows where the money currently is. During authentication, the latest update on the money flows is provided.

No More
Phishing

Using the power
of biometrics

Show More

When you register, we obtain highly specialised biometric information from you. We use this to protect you from any attempts to fraudulently drain your bank accounts.

Should someone attempt access to your Bank Zero profile from their phone by pairing with using your personal details, we match their biometrics to those you provided us.

Under
16?

Yes you can
join too!

Show More

If you’re under 16, a legal guardian needs to kick-start the process (by providing proof of address and your proof of ID).

Then you’re all set to create your own unique profile with your own personal access – and with full control over your transactions.

We are passionate about driving a savings culture. And the sooner you start banking, the sooner you start realising the powerful impact of saving.

Card Subscriptions
Control

A world first –
security under
your control

Show More

As part of Bank Zero’s focus on security, we request an App-phone authorisation for ALL online purchases – whether the site does secure purchasing or even if it’s unsecure (often targeted by criminals).

Since App-phone authorisations are impractical for subscriptions posted by online news sites and others, we allow you to select which sites may bypass your App-phone authorisation. All under your control on the Card Settings screen.

Special
Card
Patent

No more
card
skimming

Show More

The Bank Zero card patent provides a simple but innovative solution to ensure cutting-edge security. It minimises the impact of card data theft, card skimming and fraudulent eCommerce transactions.

The 16-digit card number doesn’t change each time you replace your card – unless you want to – which means card details for digital subscription services don’t have to be reset

Rogue
Debit Orders

We hate them!
And we
protect you.

Show More

If a NEW debit order is loaded, we warn you with a red task on your App. Check the provided details, and reject immediately if you don’t recognise this.

All at Zero cost to you.

Bank Zero prevents rogue debit orders from hitting your account, as long as you keep your eye out for the red Bank Zero tasks.

Intuitive
Design

A Quick
Start Guide
to the magic

Show More

The App was kept light and simple and intuitive.

There are some unique features that you would not have encountered before – specifically the dragging and dropping of account tiles.

We want to help you discover this and other features, so please start off by looking at this one-page Quick Start Guide.

Download Bank Zero Quick Start Guide

Ecosystem

It’s all about
digital
connectedness

Show More

Being both digitally and financially connected is a reality of how humans operate. Bank Zero mirrors this directly in its design.

Directly connect your Bank Zero accounts (and/or profile) with family, friends, children, staff, co-owners of businesses, club/stokvel members, or basically anyone you choose. Share information, allow sharing (or not) of funds, and remain up to speed on all transactional banking matters relevant to you or those you connect to.

Smart Scheduled
Payments

Easily managing
your finances

Show More

These are simple but powerful tools to make life easier, and are offered by most banks.

A nifty feature though on your Bank Zero App is that you receive tasks for all scheduled payments / transfers that will run the next morning. This allows you time to check your account balance for sufficient funds. It also allows you time to decide if you want to change or even cancel it. And you have time to do this right up until just before it runs – no more 2 days’ notice required.

Relationship
Banking

Supporting you with all banking admin

Show More

For those assistants, staff members, family members or anyone doing banking admin on your behalf… just load their cell numbers against the accounts and/or recipients they must be able to access.

If you’re a business, their transactions will follow the authorisation chain you’ve set up. If you’re an individual, you as the account owner will authorise (or reject).

Clever
Card Control

From ATM to Online
transactions

Show More

Use your App to control your Bank Zero card. Lock it fully if temporarily misplaced or lock partially to control ATM use. You can even select what type of ATM use is allowed.

Control who does your online card authorisations; decide whether a PIN is required for small tap transactions; and more – download to see everything you can do.

QR Payments
&
Receipts

Unique QR code for easy micro payments

Show More

Pay anyone in the Bank Zero ecosystem with a quick QR code scan, at Zero cost to you.

Receive payment by sharing your QR code without sharing any other detail (account or cell number). Only pay 0.5% of amount received – less than average market pricing. Add your QR code to your invoice or your till point or your website!

… and if you rather want to use any other QR solutions available in the market, just load your Bank Zero card onto those Apps.

Proof of Payment
(PoP)

Authenticated tracing with supporting info

Show More

A PoP is emailed on your request, at Zero cost to you. Not only can these PoPs be authenticated, they also contain valuable supporting information for businesses and individuals alike.

While making payment, upload relevant docs such as invoices or contracts. These docs are then displayed in the PoP.

The PoP also shows where the money currently is. During authentication, the latest update on the money flows is provided.

No More
Phishing

Using the power
of biometrics

Show More

When you register, we obtain highly specialised biometric information from you. We use this to protect you from any attempts to fraudulently drain your bank accounts.

Should someone attempt access to your Bank Zero profile from their phone by pairing with using your personal details, we match their biometrics to those you provided us.

Under
16?

Yes you can
join too!

Show More
If you’re under 16, a legal guardian needs to kick-start the process (by providing proof of address and your proof of ID).
Then you’re all set to create your own unique profile with your own personal access – and with full control over your transactions.
We are passionate about driving a savings culture. And the sooner you start banking, the sooner you start realising the powerful impact of saving.

Rates &

Pricing

Pricing has been turned on its head – basic banking is free and only extras are charged for.

The functionality, pricing and rates apply equally to all – all businesses and all individuals.

Bank Zero doesn’t offer entry-level accounts which are then forced to upgrade to higher-priced ones to access better functionality – feature-rich banking should never force customers into paying exorbitant fees.

Pricing Guide

Just like our banking, this is simple – all on one single page

The below pricing includes VAT.

Banking should be free
Monthly fee on any account Zero
Minimum balance in any account Zero
Notifications on all your banking activities Zero
Open more savings or notice accounts Zero
Transfer money between own accounts Zero
Pay recipient at another bank Zero
Pay recipient at Bank Zero Zero
Pay recipient at Bank Zero using their QR code Zero
Pay by debit order Zero
Pay by card Zero
Buy prepaid data, airtime, electricity, etc Zero
Send proof of payment via email Zero
Receive monthly statement via email / download Zero
Request previous statements within 3 months Zero
Request account confirmation letter Zero
Set up new business profile Zero
SendMoney to Bank Zero recipient using just their cell number (max R3k) Zero
3rd party costs are passed on to you
SendMoney to self (max R3k): cardless cash at Checkers, Shoprite, Usave R8.50
SendMoney to someone not at Bank Zero (max R3k): cash out at same retailers R8.50
Draw cash at ATM R9 / R1 000 block
Draw cash at POS (PnP, Spar, Checkers, Shoprite) R2
Balance enquiry at POS or ATM R2
Nuisance fees:
– Insufficient funds (card or debit order or scheduled payment/transfer)
– Exceeding limits
– Card set to ‘Lock’ or ‘ATM off’, or card locked after 3 wrong PINs
– Using new card before activating it, or using old uncancelled card
R2
Card personalisation with delivery to a Clicks store R79
Card personalisation with delivery to a street address (metro, rural) R139, R179
Send proof of payment via SMS (but email is free!) R1.50
Value-added services are your choice
Open additional check account on personal or business profile R100 to open
Request statements older than 3 months R10 / statement
Receive money via a Bank Zero QR code 0.5% of amount
Dispute or stop debit order R8
Dispute card transaction (i.e. chargeback) R30
If no transactions on a check account for more than 6 months R5 / month

Download Bank Zero 2021 Pricing Guide

Here are some helpful explanations to support our pricing guide

Download Bank Zero Pricing FAQ

Interest Rates

Rates vary over time, so please check regularly

Whereas pricing is fixed for the year, interest rates tend to fluctuate as the repo rate moves.
So please always check back here for the latest rates. The below table is effective as from 2 August 2021.

Amount Savings 7 Day Notice 32 Day Notice 45 Day Notice
Up to R1k 2,10% 2,15% 2,20% 2,30%
> R1k 2,20% 2,25% 2,60% 2,70%
> R25k 2,50% 2,60% 3,10% 3,25%
> R50k 2,95% 3,05% 3,40% 3,50%
> R100k 3,05% 3,20% 3,55% 3,70%
> R500k 3,10% 3,30% 3,60% 3,80%
> R1m 3,15% 3,35% 3,70% 3,90%

Download Bank Zero Interest Table

Rates vary over time, so please check regularly

Whereas pricing is fixed for the year, interest rates tend to fluctuate as the repo rate moves.
So please always check back here for the latest rates.The below table is effective as from 2 August 2021.

Amount

Savings

7 Day Notice

32 Day Notice

45 Day Notice

Up to R1k

2.45%

2.50%

2.55%

2.65%

>R1k

2.55%

2.60%

2.95%

3.05%

>R25k

2.85%

2.95%

3.35%

3.45%

>R50k

3.20%

3.30%

3.65%

3.75%

>R100k

3.25%

3.40%

3.80%

3.95%

>R500k

3.30%

3.45%

3.85%

4.05%

>R1m

3.35%

3.50%

3.95%

4.15%

Download Bank Zero Interest Table

Rates &

Pricing

Pricing has been turned on its head – basic banking is free and only extras are charged for.

The functionality, pricing and rates apply equally to all – all businesses and all individuals.

Bank Zero doesn’t offer entry-level accounts which are then forced to upgrade to higher-priced ones to access better functionality – feature-rich banking should never force customers into paying exorbitant fees.

Pricing Guide

Just like our banking, this is simple – all on one single page

The below pricing includes VAT.

Banking should be free
Monthly fee on any account Zero
Minimum balance in any account Zero
Notifications on all your banking activities Zero
Open more savings or notice accounts Zero
Transfer money between own accounts Zero
Pay recipient at another bank Zero
Pay recipient at Bank Zero Zero
Pay recipient at Bank Zero using their QR code Zero
Pay by debit order Zero
Pay by card Zero
Buy prepaid data, airtime, electricity, etc Zero
Send proof of payment via email Zero
Receive monthly statement via email / download Zero
Request previous statements within 3 months Zero
Request account confirmation letter Zero
Set up new business profile Zero
SendMoney to Bank Zero recipient using just their cell number (max R3k) Zero
3rd party costs are passed on to you
SendMoney to self (max R3k): cardless cash at Checkers, Shoprite, Usave R8.50
SendMoney to someone not at Bank Zero (max R3k): cash out at same retailers R8.50
Draw cash at ATM R9 / R1 000 block
Draw cash at POS (PnP, Spar, Checkers, Shoprite) R2
Balance enquiry at POS or ATM R2
Nuisance fees:
– Insufficient funds (card or debit order or scheduled payment/transfer)
– Exceeding limits
– Card set to ‘Lock’ or ‘ATM off’, or card locked after 3 wrong PINs
– Using new card before activating it, or using old uncancelled card
R2
Card personalisation with delivery to a Clicks store R79
Card personalisation with delivery to a street address (metro, rural) R139, R179
Send proof of payment via SMS (but email is free!) R1.50
Value-added services are your choice
Open additional check account on personal or business profile R100 to open
Request statements older than 3 months R10 / statement
Receive money via a Bank Zero QR code 0.5% of amount
Dispute or stop debit order R8
Dispute card transaction (i.e. chargeback) R30
If no transactions on a check account for more than 6 months R5 / month

Download Bank Zero 2021 Pricing Guide

Here are some helpful explanations to support our pricing guide

Download Bank Zero Pricing FAQ

Interest Rates

Rates vary over time, so please check regularly
Whereas pricing is fixed for the year, interest rates tend to fluctuate as the repo rate moves.
So please always check back here for the latest rates.

Amount Savings 7 Day Notice 32 Day Notice 45 Day Notice
Up to R1k 2,00% 2,10% 2,20% 2,30%
> R1k 2,10% 2,20% 2,60% 2,70%
> R25k 2,50% 2,60% 3,10% 3,25%
> R50k 2,95% 3,05% 3,40% 3,50%
> R100k 3,05% 3,20% 3,55% 3,70%
> R500k 3,10% 3,30% 3,60% 3,80%
> R1m 3,15% 3,35% 3,70% 3,90%

Download Bank Zero Interest Table

Rates vary over time, so please check regularly

Whereas pricing is fixed for the year, interest rates tend to fluctuate as the repo rate moves.
So please always check back here for the latest rates.

Amount

Savings

7 Day Notice

32 Day Notice

45 Day Notice

Up to R1k

2.45%

2.50%

2.55%

2.65%

>R1k

2.55%

2.60%

2.95%

3.05%

>R25k

2.85%

2.95%

3.35%

3.45%

>R50k

3.20%

3.30%

3.65%

3.75%

>R100k

3.25%

3.40%

3.80%

3.95%

>R500k

3.30%

3.45%

3.85%

4.05%

>R1m

3.35%

3.50%

3.95%

4.15%

Download Bank Zero Interest Table

Contact

Us

Everything has been designed so that you have full control and do not need to contact us for help.

If you do still need assistance, email us at info@bankzero.co.za, but for the fastest answer to your question, first see if your question is not answered here, under Need Assistance.

Have a complaint?

We take complaints seriously. See our formal complaints process below.

Download Bank Zero Complaints Process

 

Join Bank Zero now

Add your name to the Waiting List

Email your name and email address that you will use to access the app from Google playstore or Apple appstore to info@bankzero.co.za

Contact

Us

Everything has been designed so that you
have full control and do not need to contact us for help.

If you do still need assistance,
then please see below.

Have a complaint?

We take complaints seriously. See our formal complaints process below.

Download Bank Zero Complaints Process

Join Bank Zero now

Add your name to the Waiting List

If you want to be on the waiting list but haven’t yet sent in your name, please add yourself here. (If you have sent your name through previously, you have been added.)

Media

Follow us on Social Media

@BankZeroSA

@BankZer0

Bank Zero

Latest Press Release

What we announced recently

No fresh media releases currently available

Those Frequently Asked

Questions

For everything you wanted to know about Bank Zero
and couldn’t find elsewhere – read below.

What is Bank Zero?

We are a modern App-driven bank fully aligned to the banking needs of both businesses and individuals, offering control and transparency within our fresh approach towards banking.

That’s a mouthful – but so is the range of powerful features and innovations we offer to both individuals and businesses, many of which are currently not available in the market. What you need to know about us:

  • Our focus is on providing solutions to real banking problems both individuals and businesses struggle with every day.
  • We are all about being digital and leveraging the power of a smartphone.
  • Connectedness is a key principle. In today’s digitally connected world, financial connectedness is even more crucial.
  • We believe that South African bank customers currently pay too much for basic banking services – and we want to change that.
  • We are fixated on security. From our back-end infrastructure through our FICA processes to how customers use our App. The latest thinking in biometrics and encryption play a key role in our offering.
  • We are passionate about customers having full view of their finances at all times – whether as a business or as an individual. Lack of such visibility leads to wrong decisions, as well as fraud. We will reveal more about how we will be addressing this later, but some examples are:
    • Providing smart financial control – customers will know what’s happening in their accounts at all times.
    • Fast and easy processes with no manual paperwork – everything will happen digitally and, at all times, customers will be aware of progress within a process.
    • Great clutter-free experience – really easy for customers to join and get going.
Bank Zero will be App-driven. But don’t most banks have Apps?

There is a difference between a bank with an App and an App-driven bank.

Bank Zero will offer all services through the App whilst other banks tend to offer their App as an additional channel. Typically, such an “additional channel” App will not have all banking functionality available, still forcing customers into the branch or onto the internet for certain activities (for example FICA activities, giving notice, closing an account, replacing a card, etc).

This is because existing processes typically demand manual interventions and complex user interfaces, being built on legacy systems. Trying to retrofit these processes to a newly added App is difficult (and in some cases impossible). This explains why banks are starting to spend billions replacing their legacy systems in support of such new channels…

In an App-driven bank like Bank Zero all our functionality is designed with our App in mind. Our core banking platform also directly supports our App.

What products will Bank Zero offer?

We have specifically chosen to be a dedicated savings bank paying decent interest – our driving force is to empower South Africans to save.

We will provide transactional accounts (with a linked debit card) along with savings and other cash investment accounts.

Why is Bank Zero not offering credit?

We believe there is an oversupply of credit in South Africa. And we believe that through innovation we can start a process of reducing the credit burden of our customers. Certain types of long-term credit, when carefully applied, can lead to growth and we appreciate it when banks offer that facility.

However, what we want to change is the typical instant gratification mindset (which perpetuates a culture of expensive, enslaving debt) to a more longer-term goal-orientated one. But banks need to support their customers through this process – and we believe that the way in which we will be supporting our customers will go a long way towards achieving our goal of reducing customers’ debt burden. Some of the ways in which we will do that is

  • by creating easy ways for financial communities like clubs, families, groups of friends, and businesses to save individually or together,
  • enabling customers to become Bank Zero shareholders, thereby generating further savings,
  • using our inherent capital efficiency to pass the cost savings back to customers, thereby enabling more disposable income to be directed towards savings, and
  • other innovations which we will be revealed once we launch.
Who is part of the Bank Zero target market?

Anybody with access to a smartphone can join Bank Zero! This applies to both individuals and businesses.

We are solving for a range of real banking problems experienced by both individuals and businesses within our single App. Since we want to keep our App simple and uncluttered, we are not catering for listed companies – their needs are too diverse and it will complicate our App too much. We will also not bank any government entities.

When it comes to individuals, we are segment agnostic and will not be prioritising one segment over another. We believe that our value proposition will resonate across all segments, although each sub-segment will have their own favourite features within our App.

Customers who currently bank at other banks have much to gain by joining Bank Zero. The fee savings that we give back is valuable, but by far not the most valuable feature. The fresh and innovative offerings of Bank Zero which solve real world customer problems in a simple way, will be the main attraction.

Customers who are underbanked, mostly due to not being able to visit a bank branch during office hours, can now satisfy all banking needs, services and account opening processes through the App. Our focus is also not on selling underbanked customers more products, but rather on making customers more financially aware and educated through transparency and a focus on savings.

Previously unbanked customers with access to a smartphone will be able to easily join Bank Zero because we are removing the typical barriers – of exorbitant fees (especially penalties) and forcing customers into branches – as well as making it easy to join.

Will Bank Zero have a physical customer-facing network?

Because we want to save our customers the hassle of using unfriendly branches and/or call centres, we have designed all our processes from the ground up with digital interaction in mind.

There will be no physical Bank Zero branch network nor any call centres. All communication will be App-driven and/or via email.

Customers can use any ATM – both locally and internationally – to access cash with their Bank Zero debit card, as well as make use of the typical cash-out facilities at major local retailers (similar to what is offered by most large South African banks).

What is Bank Zero’s fee structure?

Instead of customers being charged for basic banking, and then getting lots of bells and whistles (which are often not used) for free, we want our customers to pay nothing for basic banking – and then pay for added features. We feel that this is a much fairer way of sharing costs and benefits with our customers.

Why are we doing this? Because we strongly believe in making banking accessible and affordable to all – both businesses and individuals – as this has a positive impact on the economy.

For example:

  • ALL monthly and annual fees on ALL accounts are Zero. Whether you are an individual or a business, and whichever income or turnover group you are in, you pay Zero.
  • Bank Zero is the first bank in the country to charge Zero for EFT payments AND Zero for Debit Orders.

But there are lots more – follow the links to our Pricing Guide and Pricing FAQ:

Bank Zero Pricing Guide

Bank Zero Pricing Guide FAQ

How is it possible for Bank Zero to be a low-cost bank?

We strongly believe in making banking accessible and affordable to all – both businesses and individuals – as this has a positive impact on the economy.

That is ultimately why we chose the mutual bank structure which allows for efficient use of capital which in turn leads to cost efficiencies we can pass on to customers. But what does capital efficiency mean? Regulators determine the minimum amount of capital a bank is required to hold. For traditional banks that offer a very broad spectrum of services (including loans and complex investments) the minimum prescribed capital to hold is 25 times higher than for mutual banks. High capital requirements mean banks have to generate higher income in order to deliver their targeted return on equity (ROE). In order to do so, they then have to charge higher fees.

As long as risk is well mitigated, holding excess capital is counter-productive, inefficient and leads to a worse customer experience.

In addition to lower capital requirements, Bank Zero also has a low-cost infrastructure. The Bank Zero core banking platform is based on reliable open source software components. This avoids the use of old-school legacy banking platforms which come at a huge cost and requires expensive and extensive modifications – and which cost banks (and therefore their customers) billions. (Examples of such modifications are the need to align to modern-day regulatory requirements and defending against cybercrime.) Because we use open source technology, the end-to-end platform is very cost-effective and efficient.

On top of that, purpose-building a bank from scratch using latest technology is incredibly cost-effective.

Once one combines the benefits of our modern low-cost banking platform with our capital efficiency, customers stand to benefit handsomely.

Why does low cost not mean low security?

Where required, we didn’t back away from smart investments in highly advanced technologies.

  • We use biometrics extensively in our App to prevent any fraudulent activities.
  • Our debit cards operate on Mastercard’s latest EMV technology and multi-layered security protocols. We are further combining this with our own unique and advanced security feature which has been patented.
  • Our core banking platform runs on an IBM’s LinuxONE™ mainframe, which provides us with advanced business critical security through pervasive encryption technology. Running an open-source core banking platform on the new IBM LinuxOne mainframe is ground-breaking. And we have combined it with other open-source software and cloud technology for certain business functions. This leads to a best-of-both-worlds combination of security and low cost.
Why is the core banking platform not in the cloud – why on a mainframe?

Many factors from cost to regulatory requirements to cryptography and other security requirements play a role in making a decision to run a core banking platform in the cloud. Whilst the cloud is good for managing certain services (which we indeed use), it becomes a challenge to manage a bank’s core banking platform.

Once infrastructure is in a cloud, it is outsourced to that cloud provider. That means that the business is bound by those agreements covering aspects such as scalability, usage, capacity-on-demand and disaster recovery. These costs could grow exponentially as volumes grow. By using our own infrastructure for our core banking platform, we have full control over these factors.

Our chosen mainframe solution provides the ability for us to grow exponentially, while controlling all factors (CPU, Memory, Disk, Network, DR, Remote capability, etc) allowing us to manage the environment efficiently and effectively.

Why should customers choose Bank Zero over other banks?

Being low cost is one thing. Offering better and more comprehensive functionality through well designed products and services is a totally different ballgame.

  • We believe that both businesses and individuals require significantly more functionality than what is currently available, to solve their daily banking problems. And although most banks are starting to somewhat address the needs of individuals, we haven’t yet seen a bank that offers the required banking functionality to businesses.
  • In addition to innovative functionality, Bank Zero’s App and back-end design provides enhanced security, using the latest thinking and cutting-edge technology.
  • Bank Zero’s smart ecosystem will enable true financial connectedness in an already digitally and socially connected world.
Why did Bank Zero choose a mutual bank structure?
A mutual bank allows customers to bank as they would normally do with other traditional banks. In fact, it is possible for a mutual bank to be structured such that customers will never know the difference!

However a mutual bank could decide to offer some valuable features easily enabled by the mutual bank structure, and which we have chosen to include in our offering:

  • Customers can become shareholders of Bank Zero by holding specific cash investment products. We will make more information on this available at a later stage.
  • The model enables the creation of financial communities within our bank – for example clubs, families, groups of friends, and business colleagues.
  • The age-old principles of mutuality also link directly to the principles of social connectedness which have seen many modern applications of in the last 10 years. These principles play a key role in how we innovate.

Regulators enforce certain capital requirements on mutual banks, which differ from traditional banks:

  • The mutual bank structure allows for the efficient use of capital – which has a strong cost benefit to the bank. (See How is it possible for Bank Zero to be a low-cost bank? for more detail.) Mutual banks can choose whether they want to pass these cost benefits on to their customers, which Bank Zero will be doing.
  • Mutual banks are forced to have a more conservative investment approach to customer deposits. This is to ensure financial stability for both customers and the bank. (See more under How does Bank Zero protect my money – is it safe?

Note that although mutual banks may offer credit, Bank Zero has specifically decided not to provide any lending products.

How does Bank Zero protect my money – is it safe?

Some say ATM bombings are becoming a national sport whilst others would argue phishing is by far the leading cause of fraudulent theft. Globally cyber-crime is on an alarming rise. Gone are the days where huge safes and clever alarms protected one’s money. Ones and zeros are the tools of choice by hackers.

Cyber-criminals are a major concern and all too often people suffer losses through phishing. People are often tempted through greed (“Congrats you won…” or “SARS refund is due to you…”) or driven by fear (“Protect your account now…”) and then follow unsafe links giving away important personal and OTP information.

Protecting our customers’ money is our passion. Whether this money is “in flight” or “at rest”, we employ the latest secure hi-tech together with innovative business processes to give our customers peace of mind. Our safes are literally layers and layers of sophisticated technology.

We further reduce risk by collaborating with heavy-weights like Mastercard and IBM.

We believe though that prevention is the best cure, and have built our security infrastructure, systems and processes around our future customers. We are investing significantly in security mechanisms that includes the latest in biometrics: to get to your money, your biometrics are needed; and if your money moves, you’ll know about it.