Barko Financial Services Taps Temenos to Serve South Africa’s Unbanked

Banking software company Temenos today announced microfinance company Barko Financial Services 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. 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.

Barko aims to provide more accessible and affordable banking to advance the financial wellbeing of millions of South Africans underserved by traditional banks. One key factor the Temenos software will enable Barko to configure is the launch new banking products, from deposit and savings accounts to credit and loans, at speed and at a low cost. Such products can be aligned to the digital preferences of local consumers, thereby accelerating their adoption.

Recently Barko 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-interest loans, more responsive banking products and convenient services across its digital and branch channels.

Barko had already deployed Temenos Infinity to deliver omnichannel lending opportunities 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’ cloud technology. The Temenos Banking Cloud enables banks and businesses to consume, manage and maintain banking services in a self-service platform. Using open APIs, banks can also collaborate and extend banking services with other fintechs and developers.

“We want to build a digital bank for the millions of South Africans that are unbanked or underserved by the traditional banks,” Barko CEO Kobus de Wet said. “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.”

“At Temenos we are passionate about transforming banking,” Temenos international sales president Jean-Paul Mergeai said. “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 realize its ambitions of making financial services more affordable and accessible to all South Africans.”


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