The microfinance company Barko intends to enter South Africa’s retail banking market with a new digital bank built on Temenos Transact and powered by the Temenos Banking Cloud.
Barko’s digital bank will leverage the full front-to-back services, giving the new bank total control to create banking products that are both accessible, and that are able to configure and integrate with external applications.
Working in collaboration with Temenos to develop accessible services, Barko aims to advance the financial wellbeing of millions of South Africans who remain underserved by more traditional banks.
Critically, the investment in Temenos’ open banking platform will enable Barko to launch new banking products, including deposit and savings accounts, credit and loans; all at an affordable cost. Barko has reportedly already applied for a Mutual Banking License to operate as a full-service digital bank.
In line with its social mission, the new banking capabilities powered by Temenos will enable Barko to further assist underserved and unbanked South Africans with longer-term and lower-cost loans, competitive affordable banking products and easy-to-use services across its digital and branch channels.
Barko already uses Temenos Infinity to deliver an omnichannel lending experience with fast access to microfinance via a digital lending app and a network of more than 200 branches.
More than 3,000 financial services institutions around the world rely on Temenos’ modern, open, cloud technology. The Temenos Banking Cloud enables banks and businesses to consume, manage and maintain banking services in a secure, continually evolving, self-service platform. Using open APIs, banks can also collaborate and extend banking services with other fintechs and developers.
Kobus de Wet, the CEO of Barko, commented: “We want to build a digital bank for the millions of South Africans that are unbanked or underserved by the traditional banks. The extended collaboration with Temenos is critical to our mission. With Temenos modern cloud banking platform we can bring new products to market faster and at a significantly lower cost compared to banks on traditional core banking system. Ultimately, this means we can pass on savings with products and services that improve the financial lives of the people that bank with us.”
Jean-Paul Mergeai, the President of International Sales for Temenos, added: “At Temenos we are passionate about transforming banking. Barko’s entry into the South Africa retail banking market represents a significant moment for customers and the industry. We’re pleased to work jointly with Barko to deliver the hyper-efficient cloud banking platform that will help it realise its ambitions of making financial services more affordable and accessible to all South Africans.”