Bank Zero Selects IBM To Deliver Digital Banking Platform
IBM will equip Bank Zero to deliver on its goal to provide products and services through a pure digital banking experience

JOHANNESBURG, ZA –October, 31, 2018: South Africa’s newest digital bank, Bank Zero, has selected IBM (NYSE: IBM) to deliver an open-source based banking platform. This will allow Bank Zero to deliver fast, easy and continuous banking services to digital customers.

As Bank Zero sets out to provide a fully digital banking experience for customers on their mobile devices, their core banking applications will run on IBM LinuxONE™–facilitating their customers to carry out a myriad of banking transactions from opening a new account to making payments, without physically going to the bank. 

Bank Zero which is in the process of launching a new digital bank in South Africa, based on a mobile app after being granted their license earlier this year, is currently in Alpha testing of their app-based bank, set to launch in 2019. Using a mutual banking licence –which mirrors current social media trends and allows for customers to become shareholders - Bank Zero will take advantage of the growing use of smart phones and customers moving to digital services and platforms  in South Africa. In 2017, 30 percent (16.6 million) of the adult population in South Africa owned smartphones and this is expected to grow1.

“Bank Zero is part of the new frontier of banking in South Africa. In a digitally connected world, employing cutting-edge technologies and delivering state-of-the-art security is at the core of innovation. As we focus on delivering a robust banking value proposition to our customers, collaborating with IBM will ensure that we have a secure, leading platform from which to deliver banking services,”said Bank Zero co-founder and chairman, Michael Jordaan. 

As Bank Zero pursues customers by addressing their needs in new and distinct ways, the secure, open-source based platform is designed to handle evolving expectations and rapid increases in mobile transactions. IBM will ensure that Bank Zero’s infrastructure handles real-time digital interactions as its customers use digital channels for their day-to-day banking activities and interactions with the Bank. Additionally, IBM will provide security on the platform ensuring that customer data is secure, whether in rest or in flight.

With an increasing number of people becoming aware of digital-only banks and their range of services designed to make banking easier and more transparent, digital-only banks must be constantly innovating and developing new products and services—requiring significant processing power.

“Innovation is at the core of Bank Zero’s strategy to reach customers through digital banking in South Africa,”said IBM South Africa Country General Manager, Hamilton Ratshefola. “For IBM, this represents an enormous opportunity to power this unique and fresh approach to banking. IBM is uniquely equipped to help Bank Zero with this mission, in a way that is secure, reliable and scaled to grow with Bank Zero as customers adopt their services.”


(1) South Africa Telecommunications Report. July 2018


About IBM LinuxONE

IBM LinuxONE systems are designed for secure data serving and modern applications capable of large transaction volumes and scale. LinuxONE was built for open source so businesses can benefit from open solutions on a low-cost platform for enterprise databases, clouds and next-generation apps - along with the industry’s security-rich, scalable and high-performing Linux server.


IBM LinuxONE provides:

  • Industry leading pervasive security optimised for data serving and mission-critical workloads and applications
  • Uncompromised data serving designed for structured and unstructured data consolidation and optimised for running modern relational and non-relational databases
  • Extreme performance and scalability suitable for workloads including databases and systems of records and for secure transactional apps like blockchain


About Bank Zero

Bank Zero is a app-driven bank that offers added control and transparency, and a fresh take on banking. Founded by tech entrepreneur Michael Jordaan and banking innovator Yatin Narsai Bank Zero will offer a unique and fresh approach to banking without any legacy systems which can be costly to maintain.Bank Zero has set out to address the realities of digitally connected customers, while employing cutting-edge technologies and delivering state-of-the-art security. Bank Zero will make use of a mutual bank licence. Businesses, individuals, families and communities will benefit through Bank Zero's products and services which are in tune with modern day realities.


Media Contact:

Audra Mahlong

IBM Media Relations

Communications Lead, South Africa

Mobile: +27 848309169