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    HomeEcosystem NewsSOUTHERN AFRICA5-Year-Old Fintech Soonicorn TymeBank Captures 10% of South African Market, Eyes NYSE

    5-Year-Old Fintech Soonicorn TymeBank Captures 10% of South African Market, Eyes NYSE

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    TymeBank, a South African digital banking pioneer backed by China’s Tencent Holdings, is set to raise $150 million in a bid to scale its operations and prepare for an initial public offering (IPO). Co-founder and CEO Coenraad Jonker disclosed this strategic move during an interview in Johannesburg.

    “We are currently valued at close to $1 billion and are busy with our Series D capital raise at a unicorn valuation,” Jonker revealed. “Our target is to list TymeBank in New York by 2028, and we will most likely also do a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange for our South African shareholders.”

    TymeBank, controlled by African billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital, expects to complete this funding round by the fourth quarter. The proceeds will support the bank’s expansion plans, including its imminent entry into the Indonesian market by the end of the year.

    Since its launch in South Africa in 2019, TymeBank has rapidly ascended to prominence, now controlling 10% of the primary banking market in Africa’s most developed economy. The digital bank has fiercely competed with established players such as Standard Bank Group and FirstRand’s First National Bank, becoming the third largest and fastest-growing lender by customer numbers.

    Jonker attributes the bank’s success to its innovative business model, which mirrors that of Brazil’s Nu Holdings. Nu Holdings, which also counts Tencent as a shareholder, successfully listed in New York in 2021. TymeBank’s profitable operations in South Africa since 2023 have provided a solid foundation for its ambitious expansion plans into fast-growing Asian markets, with ongoing operations in the Philippines and Vietnam. Jonker aims to achieve profitability in the Philippines within the next 18 months and to offer a full retail banking proposition in Vietnam by next year.

    A Closer Look at TymeBank

    TymeBank, founded by Coen Jonker, Rolf Eichweber, and Tjaart van der Waalt, is South Africa’s first digital-only bank. It made its debut in February 2019 with the EveryDay transactional account, bundled with a savings tool called GoalSave, a MoneyTransfer solution, and the TymeCoach app, which provides consumers with free access to their credit reports and financial tips.

    Leveraging Partnerships for Growth

    TymeBank’s strategy hinges on robust partnerships for both deposits and withdrawals. The bank has integrated with retail giants Pick n Pay and Boxer, embedding Pick n Pay’s Smart Shopper program into its technology stack.

    “We’ve partnered with companies whose business ethos aligns with what we want to achieve in the market, which is to do good. The customer will always be at the center of our banking practices. Going forward, we will undertake some really exciting initiatives with our partners that go beyond just occupying floor space,” said former CEO Sandile Shabalala, who resigned in June 2019.

    The collaboration with Pick n Pay and Boxer has provided TymeBank with significant distribution advantages. Additionally, South Africa’s data-only mobile network Rain has partnered with TymeBank to distribute its SIM cards at TymeBank kiosks, simplifying the process for customers to sign up for new services.

    Simplifying Banking for Customers

    TymeBank prides itself on simplicity and affordability for its customers. Signing up for an account is straightforward, requiring only a South African ID number and a cellphone number. Verification is conducted through several questions and a One-Time PIN (OTP). If the process is completed at a kiosk, biometric data is captured and compared with Home Affairs data, and a free Visa debit card is issued immediately. Online sign-ups allow access to accounts, but full transaction capabilities require a visit to a kiosk for biometric verification and address registration.

    Expanding Financial Services

    In July 2019, TymeBank began piloting unsecured term lending and later introduced a credit card in partnership with consumer lending company RCS. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the bank’s plans for a standard unsecured lending product launch in 2020. Instead, TymeBank recently launched MoreTyme, an “interest-free shopping” product allowing customers to pay half the price at the till and the remaining balance in two equal installments over two months.

    As TymeBank continues to innovate and expand, it is well-positioned to maintain its rapid growth trajectory and make a significant impact on both the South African and global banking landscapes.

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