South African Challenger TymeBank to Launch in February



South African challenger TymeBank will go live on a limited basis next week in preparation for a formal launch later this month.

TymeBank says customers will be able to open a Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) compliant bank account in over 500 Pick n Pay and Boxer stores, and get a Visa debit card.

This follows on from a soft launch in December 2018 when it went live at 20 Pick n Pay and Boxer stores. Since that launch it has got 50,000 customers.

The Johannesburg-based digital bank was officially founded in 2012 under the name of TYME. In 2015, it was acquired by Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and became TymeDigital. Three years later CBA sold it to African Rainbow Capital, which describes itself as a “fully black-owned and controlled investment company”. The majority shareholding of African Rainbow Capital makes TymeBank – as it is now known – “the first majority black-owned retail bank in South Africa”, the new owner says.

According to the bank, the kiosks in the Pick n Pay and Boxer stores are equipped with real-time biometric recognition.

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Customers don’t require an ID document or any other paperwork to open an account. It takes under five minutes and they will be issued with a personalised, activated Visa debit card that can be used at any Visa merchant in the country.

TymeBank won’t charge monthly fees – meaning no fee for cash withdrawals at ATMs, no account initiation fee, no card issuing fee and no fees for the use of the card for payment.

It does state that cash deposits at Pick n Pay and Boxer stores will cost ZAR 4 ($.028).

On top of all that it offers “high interest on savings” – and says customers can earn up to 10% interest per annum on their savings after three months.