TymeBank: South Africa’s first digital bank goes live
Meaningful financial inclusion is at the heart of TymeBank’s plans to make banking more accessible to all South Africans
21 Sep 2021
Johannesburg, 22nd February 2019
TymeBank, South Africa’s first fully digital bank, has officially launched with ambitions to extend beyond the current suite of products over the coming months.
TymeBank has launched with its EveryDay transactional account bundled with a unique savings tool called GoalSave, its MoneyTransfer solution and its TymeCoach App, which gives consumers free access to their credit report, supported by useful tips on how to make better decisions about money.
“We are planning to introduce credit products later this year, as well as an SME (small medium sized enterprise) proposition, but for now our focus is on getting simple and cost-effective banking solutions into people’s hands. Our mission is to drive meaningful financial inclusion, by making banking more accessible to all South Africans.
“We see it as our responsibility to take the complexity out of banking for consumers and to give them insights into how the financial system works. We believe that uncomplicated banking coupled with relevant knowledge will empower people to make more informed and responsible decisions about their own financial futures. Why shouldn’t banks be more transparent with customers about what they are paying for?” says Sandile Shabalala, Chief Executive Officer of TymeBank.
TymeBank is South Africa’s first majority black owned bank focused on retail and business banking. Its majority shareholder, African Rainbow Capital (ARC) Financial Services Holdings, bought the business from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in November 2018.
“TymeBank brought synergies that are complementary to ARC’s existing insurance and asset management businesses. Given ARC’s focus to, mostly, invest in businesses with established client pools, we’ll be looking for synergistic opportunities to the benefit of both the client and TymeBank,” says Tauriq Keraan, deputy CEO of TymeBank.
ARC will also be exploring the opportunity to offer affordable banking services to the client pools in the more than 40 investee companies in their portfolio as well as other business partners. “TymeBank offers customers a unique value proposition. As TymeBank’s majority shareholder we support management to achieve their key objective of broadening access to banking for all people,” says Johan van Zyl, co-CEO of ARC.
Traditional banking in South Africa typically comes with operations that are expensive to maintain and historically, innovation has progressed at a slow pace in this sector. TymeBank provides a modern, digital alternative to the traditional banking brands.
“We are leveraging our cloud-based technology which doesn’t come with a legacy burden and it’s one of the many reasons we’re able to pass cost savings onto the consumer. We have built an open banking platform, which allows us to move with speed with the partners we engage with,” says Shabalala.
TymeBank has created a network of partners including Pick n Pay and Boxer. “The Smart Shopper programme is now fully embedded in our technology stack. We’ve partnered with companies whose business ethos aligns with what we want to do in the market, which is to do good.
“The customer will always be at the centre of our banking practices and going forward we will be doing some really exciting things with our partners, it will go way beyond just occupying floor space,” says Shabalala.
By joining forces with Pick n Pay and Boxer stores TymeBank has access to a relatively significant distribution footprint. “By the time we complete our bank kiosk roll-out we will have 730 points of presence where customers can open accounts inside a Pick n Pay or Boxer store, (we have over 500 bank-enabled kiosks in the market today). Even in stores without a bank-enabled kiosk, customers can still do their everyday banking transactions. There are over 14 000 till points across the Pick n Pay and Boxer network, where our customers can withdraw money free of charge and deposit money for just R4,” says Shabalala.
TymeBank has also partnered with not-for-profit social enterprise, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, to create jobs and stimulate economic participation. “Harambee is a leading youth employment accelerator in South Africa and our partnership with them has provided us with the best way to recruit our amazing team of TymeBank Ambassadors. For all of these young people, this is their very first job. They are recruited from the local communities in and around our partners’ retail stores and we have trained them and given them the tools they need both to help our customers and succeed in their own lives. It’s all part of our inclusivity pledge,” says Keraan.
In the run up to its official launch, TymeBank acquired over 80,000 customers. “We have a strong proposition, which competitors will find hard to match right now and the tens of thousands of customers that have opened and are using their accounts are testament to that,” says Shabalala.