Root has informed customers that it is shutting down its programmable bank card. Its RootCode technology lives on in Investec’s programmable bank accounts.
All Root cards will be deactivated on 31 July and clients have until 31 August to clear out their accounts. EFT functionality will remain available after the cards are deactivated.
“The shutdown process is happening a bit faster than what we would have liked, but our upstream providers are pressured to get this wrapped up (audits),” Root told clients an in email.
As an alternative to withdrawing the remaining funds from their accounts, Root has given clients the option to donate the money to the SPCA.
“Fun fact, in the early days when we were testing our cards we didn’t have a merchant account available, so we downloaded the SPCA SnapScan QR code and used that to test,” the company said in a postscript to its email announcing the closure.
Root itself is not shutting down and will instead focus on the insurance industry, the company said.
“We’ve set out to fundamentally change an industry that’s lagging decades behind by building modern infrastructure that will power the future of insurance,” Root stated.
Insurance industry “fundamentally broken”
The company provided further details in a blog post on its website.
“While we were dodging bullets and fighting legacy establishment antibodies to get the bank card launched, we started learning more about the insurance industry – especially how fundamentally broken it is,” Root co-founder and CEO Louw Hopley stated.
“Amazingly, there are even more inefficiencies in the insurance space than in banking, and we saw a clear path to change it for the better.”