In August 2021, the digital-only Bank Zero opened its doors to the South African public.
The company claimed it will roll out the app in stages, allowing users to sign up for a waiting list and then being granted access to the app where they may finish the registration procedure one at a time.
The bank’s long-awaited debut has been delayed many times. The bank’s plans were revealed in January 2018, with a projected debut date of the end of 2018 or early 2019.
The launch preparations gained traction in late 2019, but were stymied in 2020, along with the rest of South Africa, due to the development of the Covid-19 epidemic and government-imposed lockdowns.
Former FNB chief executive Michael Jordaan and banking pioneer Yatin Narsai founded Bank Zero. Both were heavily involved in the bank’s digital transformation during their tenure there.
A mutual banking license governs the bank’s operations. Mutual banks, also known as mutual savings banks, are cooperative banks that are owned by their members who contribute to a common fund.
Its primary selling point is that it provides a no-fee banking account with no fees on own-bank transactions. Third-party transactions, such as withdrawing cash from ATMs and making payments to retailers, incur costs.
Other than zero-fee banking, Bank Zero has a slew of security measures and other digital advances that it thinks would set it apart from other bank accounts.
That incorporates what it considers to be unrivalled control over your account’s security and access.
App-phone authorization is required for all online transactions, regardless of whether the site is safe or not (often targeted by criminals). Because App-phone authorisations are inconvenient for subscriptions from online news sites and other sources, it allows you to choose which sites can circumvent your App-phone authorisation.
The Bank Zero card is protected by a patent that employs cutting-edge security to reduce the effect of card data theft, card skimming, and fraudulent eCommerce transactions.
Card information for digital subscription services do not need to be changed since the 16-digit card number does not change each time you replace your card – unless you wish it to.
All new debit orders must be authorized; customers can examine the data given and reject them right away if they don’t match. If you keep an eye out for the red Bank Zero assignments, Bank Zero will avoid unauthorized debit orders from hitting your account.
Banking that is linked – Connect your Bank Zero accounts (and/or profiles) with anybody you choose, including relatives, friends, children, employees, business partners, club/stokvel members, and so on. Share information, enable funds to be shared (or not), and stay up to date on any transactional banking concerns that affect you or people you connect with.
Complete control – Control your Bank Zero card with the App. If it’s momentarily misplaced, lock it completely, or lock it partially to limit ATM usage. You may also choose which types of ATM usage are permitted. Control who authorizes your cards online, whether a PIN is necessary for minor tap transactions, and so on.
Additional advantages include QR code payments, biometric access, and more traditional payment proofing, all of which are handled digitally through the app.
Bank Zero describes itself as an app-driven bank rather than a bank with an app. There are no branches or call centres in its portfolio, therefore every functionality – from sign-up to support – is performed through the app.
Individuals and companies can open transactional and savings accounts (with interest rates), but it does not offer credit, according to the company.
Customers will be able to become bank shareholders in the future by keeping specified cash investment products. More details on this will be released later, according to the bank.