Bank Zero Selects IBM to Deliver Digital Banking Platform

South Africa’s newest digital bank, Bank Zero, has selected IBM to deliver an open-source based banking platform. This will allow Bank Zero to deliver fast, easy and continuous banking services to digital customers.

As Bank Zero sets out to provide a fully digital banking experience for customers on their mobile devices, their core banking applications will run on IBM LinuxONE – facilitating their customers to carry out a myriad of banking transactions from opening a new account to making payments, without physically going to the bank.

Bank Zero which is in the process of launching a new digital bank in South Africa, based on a mobile app after being granted their license earlier this year, is currently in Alpha testing of their app-based bank, set to launch in 2019. Using a mutual banking licence – which mirrors current social media trends and allows for customers to become shareholders – Bank Zero will take advantage of the growing use of smartphones and customers moving to digital services and platforms in South Africa. In 2017, 30 percent (16.6 million) of the adult population in South Africa owned smartphones and this is expected to grow1.

“Bank Zero is part of the new frontier of banking in South Africa. In a digitally connected world, employing cutting-edge technologies and delivering state-of-the-art security is at the core of innovation. As we focus on delivering a robust banking value proposition to our customers, collaborating with IBM will ensure that we have a secure, leading platform from which to deliver banking services,” said Bank Zero co-founder and chairman, Michael Jordaan.

As Bank Zero pursues customers by addressing their needs in new and distinct ways, the secure, open-source based platform is designed to handle evolving expectations and rapid increases in mobile transactions. IBM will ensure that Bank Zero’s infrastructure handles real-time digital interactions as its customers use digital channels for their day-to-day banking activities and interactions with the Bank. Additionally, IBM will provide security on the platform ensuring that customer data is secure, whether in rest or in flight.

With an increasing number of people becoming aware of digital-only banks and their range of services designed to make banking easier and more transparent, digital-only banks must be constantly innovating and developing new products and services— requiring significant processing power.

“Innovation is at the core of Bank Zero’s strategy to reach customers through digital banking in South Africa,” said IBM South Africa Country General Manager, Hamilton Ratshefola. “For IBM, this represents an enormous opportunity to power this unique and fresh approach to banking. IBM is uniquely equipped to help Bank Zero with this mission, in a way that is secure, reliable and scaled to grow with Bank Zero as customers adopt their services.”