TymeBank hits 2 million customers milestone as it eyes more ZCC members

Patrice Motsepe. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Digital bank TymeBank had onboarded two million customers as of 1 August, 2020, according to African Rainbow Capital’s (ARC) annual integrated report released on Wednesday.

ARC Financial Services, which is owned by billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe, owns a 70.5 percent stake in TymeBank acquired in 2018.

5 months ahead of schedule

TymeBank reached the two-million customers milestone five months ahead of schedule. It now aims for three million by end of December 2020, ARC Co-CEOs Johan van Zyl and Johan van der Merwe said in the report.

They added, “We are also pleased to report that although initial implementation with the Zionist Christian Church (ZCC) initiative ground to a halt as a result of the national lockdown regulations, initiatives are underway to reignite implementation plans to onboard a large portion of the church’s six million adult members.”

TymeBank announced the ZCC partnership in February this year. A ban on church gatherings during the initial lockdown meant the bank could not sign up ZCC members, especially at the headquarters at Moria in Limpopo.

The co-CEOs said TymeBank’s customer deposits exceeded R1 billion in April 2020. The bank also attracted aggregate deposit flows of R10 billion during the reporting period.

Unsecured lending products

Despite the success in onboarding new customers, South Africa’s uncertain economic outlook forced the bank to postpone the launch of unsecured credit products.

“While this is a defensive measure to reduce risk and conserve capital during the economic downturn, it also has the advantage of bringing the break-even point closer.

“In the meantime, the bank’s management is considering alternative credit products that do not present the same long-term risk,” van Zyl and van der Merwe wrote.

In September, TymeBank announced a partnership with short-term insurance provider Hollard to offer funeral cover to South Africans at Pick n Pay stores countrywide.

The bank also has an ongoing partnership with Pick n Pay that offers low-cost banking services to customers.

Although TymeBank is exceeding its targets, Motsepe believes South Africa’s economic conditions are unlikely to improve significantly over the short to medium term.

“In this respect, we are more likely to have headwinds than tailwinds,” he said in his comments in the report.

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