South Africa’s first digital-only bank
TymeBank believes that every South African has the right to accessible and affordable banking, and so it aimed to disrupt the local banking industry by offering a pure digital banking experience to customers. South Africa’s unbanked and underbanked population is estimated at about 11 million. Given its objective to strive for financial inclusion, TymeBank has made it a priority to increase banking access and simplify the process. Meeting a challenge of this scale was going to be no small task as launching a new bank while being able to comply with stringent South African banking regulations is a significant undertaking.
Move to the cloud
The increasingly connected world and tech-savvy users have created a fertile ground for disruption in the banking sector. As a new entrant, TymeBank knew that offering real-time banking experiences that are unique, personalised and intuitive along with excellent customer service, will be vital to success. As an emerging market, South Africa is still a cash-heavy society. Partnering with supermarket chains ‘Pick n Pay’ and ‘Boxer’ gave TymeBank access to 800 stores and allowed them to install real-time biometric recognition kiosks that customers could visit to open a bank account. With just their identity number and no additional paperwork, the customer is issued with a personalised, activated Visa debit card within five minutes.
Following a soft launch in December 2018, when TymeBank went live at 20 ‘Pick n Pay’ and ‘Boxer’ stores across the country, the bank grew to 50,000 customers in just under three months. TymeBank was not born in the cloud and to meet the rapidly growing number of their customers, TymeBank required the agility and scale only a cloud-native solution could offer.
When the bank decided to refresh its core banking system, they selected Mambu’s cloud-native banking platform because it offered infinite scalability and quick time to market. The implementation took six months and during that time TymeBank migrated 85 percent of its infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, a shift that allowed TymeBank to halve their operational costs.
Targeting new opportunities
Today, TymeBank is successfully challenging South African incumbents with an elegant and affordable offering. In 2020 it was rated second best in the country on the Forbes list of the world’s best banks. TymeBank is primarily available via a mobile app and website, and is backed by its in-store presence to increase access to customers. There are no monthly fees, meaning no fee for cash withdrawals at ATM’s or card issuing fees – and customers can deposit and withdraw at over 14,000 access points across the country. In addition, the bank offers high interest on savings.
As the country’s first digital-bank, TymeBank has always placed cutting-edge technology at the heart of its growth strategy. With Mambu’s pure SaaS banking platform, TymeBank has gained business agility and speed to market, and has been able to deliver innovative products and services specifically to underserved segments of the economy and key population demographics like the underbanked.