New techno bank emerges from the Winelands

Photo of banker and biker from Jetline Action Photo.

Stellenbosch wine baron, banker and tech-fanatic Michael Jordaan is behind a new bank – Bank Zero – being launched later this year.

It is likely to send established SA bankers scurrying to their shitholes, as the aim is to deliver a disruptive product, driven by technology.

Michael Jordaan and another FNB veteran Yatin Narsai announced on Tuesday their plan to “launch an app-driven bank that offers added control and transparency, and a fresh take on banking.”

Jordaan will be CEO and Narsai the CEO of the new bank.  It comes as another serious player in financial services, Discovery’s Adrian Gore, is also working on a technology-driven bank launch.

The new Bank Zero has been granted a provisional licence after what its founders termed “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.”

They said 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).

“Bank Zero will offer a unique and fresh approach to banking without any legacy systems which can be costly to maintain.”

Said Jordaan: “businesses, individuals, families and communities will benefit through Bank Zero’s products and services which are in tune 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 and delivering state-of-the-art security.”

Yatin Narsai suggested Bank Zero “is part of the new frontier of banking which has arrived through smartphones and associated digital technologies.

“Beyond the mobile technology revolution, other innovations will bring more financial transparency and control to our 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 customers.

“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.”

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