Bank Zero wants to make banking in South Africa seamless with 3 new features

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January 19, 2024
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2 min read
An ATM card by Bank Zero

The news: 

  • Bank Zero, a South African digital bank, announced that it is currently working on releasing three new features: Pay Many, Immediate Payments, and Phone Tap Payments.
  • In a post on X, Michael Jordaan, Chairman of Bank Zero, revealed that the Phone Tap Payments would let banks integrate smartphone wallets for tap payments. 
  • While users could use Pay Many for salary payments, the Immediate Payment would be similar to PayShap, an instant interbank electronic payment scheme, but with fewer restrictions.  

Registered with the South African Reserve Bank in 2018, Bank Zero promised in 2023 that it would work on improving bulk payments and collections, which Jordaan has now confirmed will be delivered in three features.

Users are speculating on the obvious options, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, although the bank has yet to reveal which platforms it will support for phone tap payments.

A spokesperson for the South African-based bank told MyBroadband that all smartphone payment platforms are under consideration. 

They added that watch support would follow subsequently. Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay — watch payment services — are already in use throughout South Africa, where they are supported by most of South Africa’s major banks, including Capitec, First National Bank (FNB), and Standard Bank. 

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Bank Zero launched an app-only solution in October 2023 to provide commercial clients with low-cost services. The offering expanded the functionality of the Bank Zero app beyond payment processing to include sophisticated features like creating an internal banking team, modifying mandates, and assigning access rights.

In the last quarter of 2023, Bank Zero announced that it’s not changing its zero-pricing policy, where basic banking activities are free and only extras are charged at comparatively lower prices. 

The fintech says it charges international payments using the Bank Zero cards at 1%, compared to the 2.75%+ collected by traditional banks. 

Bank Zero joins other neobanks in South Africa, such as TymeBank and Discovery Bank, to create alternative banking for users.


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