(Instagram, @tymebankza)
(Instagram, @tymebankza)

TymeBank - South Africa’s first digital-only bank - officially launched this week, promising fees that are up to 50% cheaper than its competitors. 

It is one of three new banks to launch in South Africa this year, which includes Discovery Bank coming in March, and Bank Zero launching later this year.

Also read: TymeBank has no monthly fees - here's how it compares to other big banks

TymeBank makes use of self-service stations in Pick n Pay and Boxer stores where clients can open an account using fingerprint biometrics.

The entire system is linked to the department of home affairs’ database to avoid fraud, and to comply with FIC. 

Chief marketing officer Luisa Mazinter told Business Insider South Africa that by Wednesday morning, the startup bank already had over 86,000 customers. “Our growth rate is exceeding all expectations." 

Here are 6 things to know about TymeBank, South Africa’s newest bank. 

How TymeBank got its name. 

‘Tyme’ stands for ‘take your money everywhere’, Mazinter said.

The bank started as Tyme Capital, which operated mobile money for telecommunications giant MTN.

It doesn't fear Discovery's new bank

“Discovery’s focus is on the middle to upper-income end of the market,” Mazinter said. TymeBank focusses on affordability.

Discovery will leverage their Vitality programme and advanced behavioural analytics capabilities to deliver a differentiated offering. “It is unlikely that price will be a key differentiator [for Discovery],” Mazinter said. 

With TymeBank you can earn Smart Shopper points anywhere 

The TymeBank debit card is the first bank card to also act as a Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card. TymeBank customers will, therefore, earn Smart Shopper points every time they shop - not just at Pick n Pay stores. “[Customers] earn one point for every R2 spent in PnP when they swipe and pay with their TymeBank card and one point for every R3 spent outside of PnP,” Mazinter said.  100 Smart Shopper points equal R1. 

Future expansion - including offering credit 

TymeBank plans to get the necessary approval from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to extend credit to clients. It is not clear whether this will include credit cards or bank loans.

It’s SA’s first black-owned retail bank 

TymeBank is South Africa’s first majority black-owned bank focused on retail and business banking, Mazinter said. Its majority shareholder, African Rainbow Capital (ARC) Financial Services Holdings, bought the business from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in November 2018.  ARC is a company within billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s Ubuntu-Botho Investments stable.

It expects to break even in 2022

Mazinter said TymeBank expects to break even three years from now - if it can attract 2.1 million active customers and extend credit to 6% of its base. 

For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: