Bank Zero co-founder Michael Jordaan has confirmed that Bank Zero’s closed beta has started.
This follows Bank Zero previously telling MyBroadband that it planned to launch this beta early in the second half of 2020.
“At first this will be small groups which will then be enlarged over time,” said Jordaan in May 2020.
He said that Bank Zero would use feedback from these customers to improve its processes and functionality.
“This type of beta launch is quite common in the tech world and the opposite of large, often hyped launches in the corporate world,” said Jordaan.
Jordaan has now confirmed that this closed beta period has officially begun.
“Bank Zero is live and is operating across six payment rails. The closed rollout has started,” Jordaan said.
“Customers (individual and businesses) are being added in this closed rollout. It will then be followed by general public availability.”
He said that Bank Zero intends to be publicly available before the end of 2020, and more information regarding this will be provided soon.
Jordaan previously explained that Bank Zero selects who joins its public beta from interested parties who supplied their details on the Bank Zero website.
Bank Zero thrives under lockdown
Jordaan told MyBroadband that the closed rollout is currently performing well under the national lockdown and during the work-from-home conditions.
“Bank Zero was made for a pandemic world as it has zero paperwork (registration and transactions), can be operated fully remotely (no visit to branches/kiosks/brokers required), and will bring significant savings to hard-pressed individuals and businesses,” said Jordaan.
“We continue to gain useful insights from our current customer base which is being incrementally added into the platform and app.”
He said that this process means that Bank Zero is on track for full public operations.
Jordaan also previously told MyBroadband that Bank Zero had managed to switch to remote working relatively easily.
“The Bank Zero team all used to work in one open-plan office, so they could ill afford even one COVID-19 infection,” said Jordaan.
“Consequently they started working-from-home even before the lockdown was announced.”
However, Jordaan said that since a large number of the Bank Zero team are software developers, they adjusted to remote working easily.
“Everyone in the team has a broadband connection and simply switched to Zooming,” said Jordaan.
“Nevertheless the absence of all face-to-face meetings is not ideal and in some cases resulted in slightly lower efficiency than we would have liked.”
No CVV needed
MyBroadband asked Jordaan about potential competition against its card technology from FNB’s recently-launched virtual card feature, whereby a customer’s CVV number is changed every hour for improved security.
Jordaan said that Bank Zero doesn’t comment on competitors or their products, but noted that the patented Bank Zero Card technology has been live for some time and is “unrelated to virtual cards or CVV changes”.
Jordaan also said that CVV numbers are not completely secure.
“In our experience, criminals bypass CVV by shopping at merchants who don’t check for it,” said Jordaan.