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Thoughts on Bank Zero

Spreadsheet Ranger

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Is there space for another bank in the South African landscape?
I am a Capitec user and for me banking costs in the most important factor, so personally if Bank Zero is cheaper than Capitec I'll switch.



Bank Zero has entered its alpha testing phase after announcing that it has been integrated with the national payments system of the SARB.


The aim of the alpha testing is to see a small team validating the bank’s end-to-end live systems and processes.


In recent interviews, Bank Zero cofounder Michael Jordaan has made it clear that the bank will offer new, innovative banking at low costs – and high interest for savings.


Jordaan said that the IT costs of Bank Zero work out to “1% of 1%” of what it costs to run a traditional IT system, which allows the bank to charge lower fees and “survive on smaller margins”.

Bank Zero also told MyBroadband that it will offer more comprehensive functionality through great products and services.


This will all be backed by Bank Zero’s innovative app and back-end design that provides enhanced security by “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,” the bank said.


Bank Zero’s also aims to add innovation through its partnership with Mastercard – more specifically, its “new generation of card” that is aimed at providing cutting-edge security and powerful features.

Full Article: Mybroadband


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I agree on the fee issue, but what is a much bigger problem for me is the fact that when we pay someone money via EFT  that money leaves my bank account and only reflects in a day or two with the recipient. Banks earn interest on these "overnight transfers" there is no reason for them to do so.


In fact the SARB can and do settle all money transfers on a RTGS basis Real Time Gross Settlement , regardless of size of transfer. Which means that we can have our cash paid instantaneously....but nooooo the banks want to hold to earn the interest.

They make money despite themselves !    

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10 minutes ago, Miss Behavin said:

I agree on the fee issue, but what is a much bigger problem for me is the fact that when we pay someone money via EFT  that money leaves my bank account and only reflects in a day or two with the recipient. Banks earn interest on these "overnight transfers" there is no reason for them to do so.



You can thank Bankserv for that

IQ Test

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  • 2 weeks later...

They keep posting on Twitter, but I have not seen a launch date yet. 


I am curious to see what Micheal and the rest ex FNB guys can come up with, TymeBank is really incredible and Capitec can adapt if they must. So is that 'unbanked' space big enough for another entrant? 


Bankzero will never compete in the FNB level, at least I doubt it and there Discovery Bank is going to make a dent. I am very excited about their launch and to see what they can offer and if they will enter the business banking space currently dominated by FNB. 



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An update




Bank Zero, the mobile app-based bank co-founded by celebrity banker Michael Jordaan, has begun the final round of testing its facilities before its launch in the second half of 2019.


Known as beta testing (which is the concluding stage of testing before a commercial launch), the new bank says it is processing payments and debit orders, as well as doing transactions for prepaid services such as airtime, data and electricity. It does not specify when it will launch, or when this round of testing will be completed.


“SA is a world leader in electronic payments yet customers seldomly experience this power, as it requires a modern core banking system to leverage this,” says Jordaan, its chair and co-founder. “It’s exciting that all staff are part of this first wave of beta testing.”


Bank Zero is already considered a “clearing bank” and “settlement bank”, meaning it can receive transfers from other banks, using the branch code 888000. When this round of testing with staff is completed, external volunteers will be invited to participate in the trial.


“Sweat equity is our strategic advantage,” says Jordaan. “It transforms deep and diverse banking insights and know-how into powerful intellectual property. For example, having a single view of the customer is vital, yet banking excellence is also about having a single end-to-end view of money. This is the science of banking.”


Yatin Narsai, the CEO and co-founder, says the bank has prudently used its capital to plan how it will provide services. “This approach enables us to bring a revolutionary new core banking system to market with pervasive encryption and digital scaling. It is fundamental to our low-cost, high-capability offering,” he says.


Instead of buying off-the-shelf systems for both core and back-office functions that are designed for traditional banks, Bank Zero has built its own technology, including extra security for common fraud attacks like phishing.

Among the features it says it will offer are a new “check account” that replaces “old notions of cheque/current accounts and other legacy-style accounts”. This account will provide real-time checking and money control, as well as detection of rogue debit orders. The bank hopes to foster a savings culture and will also offer businesses integration with cloud-based Xero accounting software.


Yatin says it will offer its own patented card technology, as opposed to traditional card offerings. “The ubiquitous card has dominated spending for decades, but this ‘a card is a card’ approach is strategically flawed. Bank Zero will bring advancements and convenience by focusing specifically on security and control. The trauma of card skimming, and other rogue methods of recording card details, will be a thing of the past at Bank Zero. The alarming trend of rogue online stores bypassing OTP-based security will also be prevented.”


He adds that the 16-digit card number will not need changing when a card is replaced, so card details for digital services (such as Netflix or Uber) will not have to be reset. Customers will be able to make QR payments through platforms such as Zapper or SnapScan, as well as mobile-based NFC (near field communication) payments. “A card is never just a card at Bank Zero,” he says. “Why shouldn’t banking be a joyful, exciting and safe experience? After all it’s your money.”

Edited by Spreadsheet Ranger

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