Tyme Raises $110 Million To Grow Digital Bank For Underserved In South Africa, Asia

mobile banking

After raising $110 million in a Series B capital raise, Tyme plans to expand its digital bank for the underserved into Asia and Southeast Asia, starting with the Philippines.

Tyme, headquartered in Singapore, will primarily use the funding to expand TymeBank in South Africa, where it already operates, but also plans to apply for a digital bank license from the Central Bank of the Philippines, according to a Tuesday (Feb. 23) press release.

JG Summit Holdings, based in the Philippines, and Apis Growth Fund II invested in the funding round, according to the release.

“We see digital banking as the next growth area globally and increasingly in ASEAN,” Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of JG Summit Holdings, said in the release.

TymeBank launched in February 2019 in South Africa and counts 2.8 customers on its platform. It also is rated as the “number two bank in the country by consumers,” according to the press release, which also noted that it onboards 110,000 to 120,000 new clients every month.

The bank aims to provide underserved and underbanked consumers access to financial services through its digital banking model, with a vision “to create a platform that stimulates economic participation and facilitates broader financial inclusion.”

The simple approach of FinTechs and digital payments are much more accessible to underbanked populations, PYMNTS recently reported, and “most unbanked individuals have smartphones, even though they may still be wary of traditional bank accounts.”

Customers can open a FICA-compliant bank account with just their ID number and cell phone at a TymeBank kiosk or online. The kiosk verifies the customer’s biometric data in order to be compliant with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act. Customers will be issued a Visa debit card at that time as well.

“Internationally, digital banks are starting to take significant market share from traditional players,” Coen Jonker, co-founder and executive chairman of Tyme, said in the press release. “More importantly, they are bringing industry transformation and helping more people participate in the economy.”

In addition, to support consumers in emerging markets, TymeBank offers a savings tool called Goalsave, which the press release said helps users create savings goals and earn up to 7 percent interest per year.