Bank Zero’s business product could be perfect for SMEs and startups

  • Bank Zero has launched a banking solution for businesses that features the firm’s signature zero-fee model for basic banking.
  • The platform is fully integrated with Xero Accounting and businesses can take up card machines thanks to a partnership with iKhokha.
  • Facilities for bulk payments and collections will be added at a later stage the bank said.

This morning, digital banking solution Bank Zero announced it was making a move into a new sector with a product tailored for businesses.

The firm says the product is perfect for businesses with small and large turnovers. Much like its Personal banking product, basic banking is free for businesses as well. This means there is no monthly account fee, no fees for paying debit orders, airtime and data purchases, or for retrieving statements up to three months old.

There are however charges associated with cash withdrawals, having insufficient funds in your account, and sending a proof of payment.

“It was a complex project, but the end result is ground-breaking. Because we were able to design the system as a whole, it works seamlessly with the user in mind. Everything from setting up your in-house banking team, changing mandates and granting access privileges, to making payments is all done within the app. It’s easy to set up and manage a flexible team of in-house ‘relationship bankers’ to do the legwork, and authorisers to approve transactions,” says Bank Zero’s chief executive officer, Yatin Narsai.

Bank Zero has also partnered with iKhokha to give business banking clients card machines. In addition, the platform is fully integrated with Xero Accounting.

While Bank Zero may not offer the credit facilities that the big banks do, the digital-first nature of the bank may be a big win, especially when it comes to SMEs and startups.

At the tail-end of 2022, McKinsey found that traditional banks could earn the business of SMEs by offering a digital banking solution. However, that same report states that SMEs need access to funding mechanisms including credit.

With that having been said, Capitec – for many years the fastest-growing bank in South Africa – is today one of the biggest banks in South Africa and it earned that accolade by putting a focus on creating a steadfast and dependable product customers could rely on. It wasn’t until much later in its life that Capitec began offering credit products and business banking.

With that in mind, Bank Zero could make a splash in the local business banking sector if it decides to partner with a lender. The bank does say that it’s working adding more new features.

“Bank Zero’s approach is radically different: we focused on making it simple to use, transparent, secure, robust and with zero bank fees. The foundation for doing bulk payments and collections is in place, and will be released later,” concludes Yatin.

For more information about Bank Zero’s Business banking solution head to the official website here.


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