The former chief executive of FNB Michael Jordaan, and one-time FNB colleague Yatin Narsai are to launch an app-only bank in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Jordaan, who is now a technology innovator based in Stellenbosch, unveiled the project in a tweet after the putative startup was granted a provisional licence by the South African Reserve Bank.
The 45% black-owned bank - dubbed Bank Zero - will operate under a mutual banking licence, with the aim of building a customer base by allowing for the support and creation of connected financial communities, from families to clubs and societies.
Jordaan says the new bank will operate at the forefront of the social sharing revolution. "Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram are the new normal for societies," he says. "Why shouldn't banks also innovate in this era of wider connectedness whilst still ensuring a robust banking value proposition? Bank Zero is addressing these realities, while employing cutting-edge technologies and delivering state-of-the-art security."
The capital-efficient framework provided by the bank's mutual status will also be applied to deliver a sense of togetherness, he says, by providing customers with shares in the bank based on the types of savings products they take out.
Says Narsai: "Beyond the mobile technology revolution, other innovations will bring more financial transparency and control to our customers in an intuitive, secure and affordable way. Coupled with the mutual banking concept, this will help nurture a savings culture in South Africa. New technologies, together with tried-and-tested account features like chip-and-pin cards, will deliver real value to our customers."