Banking software company Temenos has announced that Barko, a microfinance company, plans 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.

According to the company, Barko will leverage the full front-to-back services, giving the new bank total control to create banking products that are easy to consume, configure and integrate with external applications.

“With Temenos, Barko aims to disrupt the banking status quo with more accessible and affordable banking to advance the financial wellbeing of millions of South Africans underserved by traditional banks. Critically, the investment in Temenos’ open banking platform will enable Barko to launch new banking products, from deposit and savings accounts to credit and loans, at speed and a low cost,” the company said.

The company said Barko has applied for a Mutual Banking Licence to operate as a full-service digital bank.

“The new banking capabilities 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 with a seamless experience across its digital and branch channels,” the company said.

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 fintech and developers.

Barko CEO Kobus de Wet 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’s modern cloud banking platform we can bring new products to market faster and at a significantly lower cost compared to banks on the 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.”

Temenos president – International Sales, Jean-Paul Mergeai, said: “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.”


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