Microfinance company Barko has announced its intention to enter the retail banking market in South Africa with a new digital bank built on Temenos Transact and powered by The Temenos Banking Cloud.
Temenos said that its Open Banking platform will enable Barko to offer affordable, accessible banking services to unbanked South Africans.
Barko has applied for a mutual banking license to operate as a full service digital bank and plans to launch a number of new banking products, including deposit and savings accounts, as well as credit and loans at a low cost.
Temenos Infinity is already being used by Barko to deliver an omnichannel lending experience, with fast access to microfinance via a digital lending app and a network of more than 200 branches.
Kobus de Wet, CEO of Barko, said: “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 systems. 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, president, international sales at Temenos, called Barko’s entry into the South Africa retail banking market 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,” Mergeai added.