Michael Jordaan's Bank Zero readies for launch - TechCentral

Michael Jordaan’s Bank Zero readies for launch

Bank Zero chairman Michael Jordaan

Bank Zero, the digital bank backed by former First National Bank CEO Michael Jordaan, is on track to launch in the first half of next year and is promising innovations to stamp out card fraud.

The start-up bank said on Wednesday that it has “fully completed its core value proposition by going live with its debit card”.

“Following this card go-live, rigorous health checks such as simulated card attacks, card fraud detection and retailer readiness are currently underway. Thereafter the final countdown to starting public operations will begin,” it said in a statement.

Bank Zero said it has designed and patented a card that will “dramatically minimise” card data theft and card skimming.

“Mastercard teams from South Africa, India and the US were closely involved in validating and commissioning this card solution,” it said. “IBM’s global expertise in encrypted card security was also tapped into.”

Bank Zero CEO Yatin Narsai said the company has not bought any traditional banking systems or outsourced any work, which he described as “expensive yet conventional” options. “We wanted to create an exciting customer offering which required building our own systems.”

‘Special functionality’

He said the bank plans to offer “special functionality” around social connectedness, transparency, control, advanced payments and a focus on savings.

It has created three large “payment rails” from scratch, namely direct integration into the South African Reserve Bank’s systems in order to become a settlement bank; electronic payments (EFTs) and debit orders, establishing Bank Zero as a clearing bank; and issuing and processing of debit cards.

Bank Zero CEO Yatin Narsai

It said the final steps to be completed before going live to the public are:

  • Completing the Android and iOS apps for both individuals and businesses;
  • Putting the patented card through its paces by actively using the first cards;
  • Confirming that regulatory reporting is in order;
  • Performing the annual disaster recovery test;
  • Ensuring that cards can be used internationally;
  • Confirming security and performance testing to ensure Bank Zero’s systems can handle massive volumes;
  • Implementing a standby system, enabling maintenance without inconveniencing customers;
  • Fine-tuning and completing the build-out of the customer service model; and
  • Extending current beta testing.  — © 2019 NewsCentral Media

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