SA startup OfferZen partners Standard Bank for developer accounts

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South African developer recruitment platform OfferZen has partnered Standard Bank to launch a programmable bank account for developers, which will allow those in the developer community to find innovative new ways of controlling their money.

Launched in May 2016, OfferZen asks companies to send developers interview requests containing detailed information on upfront salary, benefits, company culture and work environment so that developers can compare multiple offers.

It has now partnered Standard Bank to launch Root, a lightweight bank account for developers that is accessible with code. Root’s credit cards are developer friendly, allowing a user to write code that interacts with transactions in real-time.

The aim of Root is to eliminate barriers to entry for innovation in the financial sector. A Root account enables any software developer to build a fully functional fintech product without any special access to the banking world.

A Root account comes with a programmable credit card, online banking interface, mobile app, and APIs. Through RootCode and other APIs to the bank account, users can quickly build any feature they dream up and easily integrate with other services to expand their account’s functionality.

“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 Malan Joubert, co-founder of OfferZen.

“OfferZen’s mission is to help developers build great things. A big part of that is helping talented developers find jobs at companies where they can learn and contribute massively. However, our goal has always been to also do a lot more for them. Root is the first step towards that broader goal.”

Project partner Standard Bank provides a secure store of users’ funds, the underlying banking services and the regulatory framework within which Root operates.

“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 John Campbell, head of Standard Bank EDGE.

No launch date has yet been fixed for Root, but OfferZen said it hoped it would be ready for public launch before the end of June. For now, the platform is operating in private beta.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent’s most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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