South African developer community OfferZen is conducting a private beta of a programmable bank account that lets coders create new services to meet their personal requirements.
OfferZen is working with Standard Bank to provide the underlying banking services for the Root account, which comes with a programmable credit card, online banking interface, mobile app and APIs.
Currently operating in private beta, the account is accessible with code, and the credit cards are developer friendly. This allows developers to write code that interacts with transactions in real time. The code, called RootCode, is securely hosted by Root in the cloud.
"Through RootCode and other APIs to the bank account, users can quickly build any feature they dream up and easily integrate with other services to expand their account’s functionality," the company states. "In essence, Root enables people to build stuff on top of the bank."
A sample of new features built by users in the private beta include an Uber card with pre-set transaction limits for friends and family, custom notifications on specific types of transactions via SMS, a round-up feature that saves spare change from card purchases for specific goals, and interaction with Google sheets for tracking spending.
"Fintech is an exciting industry for innovators, but entering the space is incredibly hard and slow due to regulations and massive starting costs," states OfferZen. "Root eliminates these barriers and enables the developer community to find new and innovative ways to control their money. With Root, any software developer can build a fully functional fintech product without special access to the banking world."