SINGAPORE, Jan. 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Singapore-based global digital banking group Tyme has achieved an annualised revenue run rate of SG $215 million in 2023, as its flagship South African operation TymeBank becomes the world’s fastest profitable standalone digital bank.
This puts TymeBank in the top 5 percent of digital banks globally, with a study by global consultancy Simon-Kucher finding that fewer than 5 percent of digital banks around the world are profitable.
TymeBank also qualifies as one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks, as it secured 8.5 million customers since its launch in February 2019 and achieved 30 percent growth in its SME lending portfolio in 2023.
In contrast, the majority of digital banks take far longer to become profitable.
Tyme’s Philippines operation GoTyme Bank, a joint venture with the Gokongwei Group, has also reached 2.3 million customers in just 14 months, beating even Tyme’s South Africa operation, and made Tyme’s successful merchant cash advance product available to the 1.1 million MSME businesses located in the Philippines.
The Philippines is expected to experience the highest rise in neobank adoption globally, with 32 percent of its population predicted to be using neobanking by 2027 – a 161 percent increase from its 2023 adoption rate of 13 percent, indicating an enormous opportunity for Tyme.
This rapid growth brings Tyme’s total customer numbers to 10.8 million globally, and aligns strongly with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) goal of establishing Singapore as a key global financial center in Asia, fostering global market connections, and aiding Asia’s development broadly.
Tyme Group attributes its record-breaking success to a unique strategy it employs in its target emerging markets:
- A high-tech / high-touch approach that combines digital banking channels with the human touch of kiosks and banking ambassadors in partnership with nation-wide retailers
- A goal of creating the most affordable banking offering in the market, with a cost structure of ~10 percent of the incumbents
- Consistent innovation in tech, product, and customer experience; and the launch of regular “firsts”, such as the ability to open a full bank account and secure a personalized debit card in under 5 minutes, its interest-free Grant Advance product for government to person payments, and its buy-now-pay-later product MoreTyme through TymeBank, when the concept was relatively unknown in South Africa
This growth is enabled by continued investor confidence in the Group, as evidenced by its $77.8 million pre-Series C raise in 2023, and investment by anchor shareholder Dr Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (‘ARC’), Tencent, British International Investment (BII), Apis Growth Fund II (‘Apis’), and Norrsken22, among others.
This level of investor support and exceptional growth is expected to continue through 2024 and beyond according to Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Tyme Group, Coenraad Jonker.
Coenraad Jonker said: “We are proud of our growth in emerging markets, as we bring critical financial access to individuals and businesses. These markets are significantly underserved compared to more established markets, representing enormous growth opportunities for Tyme Group.
“Our ambition is to become one of the top three retail banks in every market we enter, beginning with TymeBank in South Africa. Our proven track record of rapid growth, consistent product innovation and ‘firsts’, investor confidence and, now, profitability put us on track to achieve this audacious goal.
“This underscores Singapore’s expanding role and expertise in the fintech domain as a center for financial innovation and technology. Tyme is proud to be part of solidifying Singapore’s standing in the global financial landscape, as it cultivates a progressive and dynamic financial sector in line with MAS’s strategic vision.”
Tyme Group next plans to launch its SME cash advance products in Vietnam in coming months, where SMEs account for over 97 percent of all companies nationwide, but only 25 percent have access to affordable banking services.
It relocated its corporate headquarters to Singapore in 2021 in recognition of it being Asia’s innovation and fintech hub, where Tyme Group believes it can best realise its vision of unlocking financial access and empowerment for everyone, especially those in emerging markets.
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Singapore: Resh Shekar, [email protected], +65 8797 8415
About Tyme Group (www.tyme.com)
Tyme Group is a multi-country digital banking group, focused on serving consumers and SMEs in emerging markets. Headquartered in Singapore, with a technology and product development hub in Vietnam, Tyme designs, builds, and operates digital banks for the mass market, providing access to affordable, quality financial services for consumers and small businesses across the economic spectrum. Tyme recognises the unique challenges of banking in emerging markets, and leverages technology innovatively, through a high tech-high touch approach, to meet the needs of its emerging mass market customers. It launched its second digital bank, GoTyme Bank, in the Philippines, in partnership with the Gokongwei Group, in October 2022. Across the Group, Tyme now serves almost 11 million customers.
About TymeBank (www.tymebank.co.za)
TymeBank is currently one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks, with over 8.5 million customers since launching in February 2019. The bank is founded on simplicity, transparency and affordability and is designed to make digital banking accessible and affordable to all South Africans across the economic spectrum. TymeBank has no monthly banking fees, it takes less than five minutes to open an account and in most cases transaction costs are 30 to 50% lower than what customers would pay at other local banks. Through a distribution partnership with Pick n Pay, Boxer, and TFG stores, TymeBank has over 1,000 kiosks and 15,000 retail points in retail stores across the country. Retail Capital, a division of TymeBank, is the largest SME funder of its kind in the sector.
TymeBank’s anchor shareholder is Dr Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (‘ARC’). Other investors include Tencent, British International Investment (BII), Apis Growth Fund II (‘Apis’), the Gokongwei Group, Norrsken22, the management investment vehicle Africa Fig Tree (AFT), and the Ethos AI Fund. TymeBank is a member of the Tyme Group of companies with headquarters in Singapore.
It has rolled out a series of innovations, with some highlights as follows:
- Grant Advance: a facility that offers South Africa’s government-to-person grant recipients early access to their funds without any additional fees or interest, this solution furthers our commitment to serving all segments of our South African population. The vast majority (78%) of Grant Advance customers are caregivers, while 13% rely on old age grants and 10% on disability grants.
- MoreTyme™: now the most accessible Buy-Now-Pay-Later product in South Africa, with more than 5,500 physical stores and 1,200 e-commerce sites equipped to accept MoreTyme transactions.
- Merchant Cash Advance: through TymeBank’s recent acquisition of South Africa’s largest digital SME lender Retail Capital, the Bank is now one of the leading unsecured merchant funders to SMEs in South Africa. TymeBank now funds over 50,000 businesses; its funding portfolio has grown by ~30% since the Retail Capital business was acquired in December 2022. GoTymeBank launched the merchant cash advance product in the Philippines in November 2023.
About GoTyme (https://www.gotyme.com.ph)
GoTyme Bank is regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and is a joint venture of Tyme, a multi-country digital banking group, with members of the Gokongwei Group of companies, namely Robinsons Bank, Robinsons Land Corporation, and Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. GoTyme Bank aims to unlock its customers’ financial potential with the convenience and security of digital banking. With a high-tech / high-touch approach, GoTyme Bank combines the ease of immediate account opening with a personalized debit card released through kiosks located in shopping malls throughout the Philippines, plus the power of self-serve financial solutions accessible through an intuitive “all in one” banking app. These, along with other industry-leading offerings, set GoTyme Bank on track to revolutionize banking in the Philippines.
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