Root is Standard Bank, OfferZen’s new ‘programmable’ bank account

Root card

Developer job platform OfferZen has teamed up with Standard Bank to introduce Root — a “programmable” bank account for software developers.

Root features full API access for developers, allowing their code to interact with transactions in real-time. So what kind of apps can be crafted with it, then?

“Beta users of Root have already written some great RootCode apps including sending their transaction data to a personal Google Sheet in real-time, to make budgeting easy; limiting the days on which they can buy fast food, as part of a diet plan and creating a dedicated card and budget for Uber rides,” read an excerpt of the press release sent to Memeburn.

Another example cited by the two companies include getting a text message of specific purchases made in a week (such as coffee).

Users also get a credit card, online banking interface and mobile app.

root app offerzen standard bank

Not a developer and want to get in on the action? Unfortunately, Root apps can only be shared with other Root developers, but Standard Bank says that “high potential” applications can be launched to all Standard Bank customers (i.e. non developers).

“Developers are able to create solutions to problems in almost any industry, but are severely limited in the fintech space by massive starting costs and barriers to entry. Root is our experiment to change that fundamentally,” said OfferZen co-founder Malan Joubert in the press statement.

Root promises to be the first ‘programmable’ bank account in South Africa

“Root is like a 24/7/365 hackathon that allows any developer to build ‘life enabling’ apps or solutions. Instead of relying only on people who work for Standard Bank, we are giving any developer the power to create opportunities or solve everyday problems they experience,” said Standard Bank’s John Campbell.

There isn’t a fixed launch date for the service, but the two companies are targeting a June 2017 launch. The service is currently in a private beta, while a pricing model hasn’t been announced yet either.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.