South Africa’s digital-only Bank Zero has been integrated with the national payments systems of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), and the officials are currently Alpha testing the app-driven bank.
Bank Zero has been registered as a mutual bank with effect from August 17, 2018.
Bank Zero was integrated with the national payments systems of SARB in September 2018, which is expected to bring major benefits to customers.
Bank officials have also begun Alpha testing with a team validating the end-to-end live systems and processes.
The bank’s scientific approach uses laboratory-style testing and includes using the banking app with its integration to the new core banking platform; full end-to-end testing of the customer experience; perfecting the integrated business, security and regulatory processes; completing a disaster recovery test of the infrastructure and software stack; and confirming the automated regulatory reporting as required by SARB.
Bank co-founder and chairperson Michael Jordaan acknowledged the professionalism, skills and modern systems of SARB and the newly created Prudential Authority.
He said: “The stringent licencing process, the high standards, and their skilled and professional approach clearly demonstrates that South Africa has a world-class regulator.”
The bank also has a strategic collaboration with Mastercard and IBM.
Mastercard and Bank Zero are jointly developing a new generation of card to deliver security and other unique features.
Mastercard Southern Africa division president Mark Elliott said: “By supporting Bank Zero’s unique value proposition we address modern day payment realities, while providing the latest EMV technology and delivering multi-layered security protocols to protect users against fraud and identity theft.”
IBM provides Bank Zero with breakthrough enterprise-grade security on the open-source based LinuxONE enterprise server through its encryption technology.
Bank Zero uses the cloud for certain functions, creating a hybrid model.
Bank Zero build-out will continue, and after implementing additional payment rails such as card transacting, Beta testing will commence in the first quarter of 2019.
Public operations are expected to begin in mid-2019.