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TymeBank to offer banking services in TFG stores

The deal offers massive reach in SA that will constitute ‘stepwise growth’ for TymeBank over diverse LSMs: CEO Tauriq Keraan.

FIFI PETERS: Digital bank time. One of the newest banks here in South Africa’s banking block has announced a new deal with The Foschini Group, or TFG, which promises growth. The deal will see TymeBank roll out its banking products and services across 600 kiosks in the retail stores owned by Foschini, starting with Jet next month.

We’ve got TymeBank CEO Tauriq Keraan to talk to us about this deal. Tauriq, thanks so much for your time – no pun intended. You presently have 3.8 million customers. What are you hoping that this deal will do to your customer base?

TAURIQ KERAAN: Fifi, thanks for having me. There are a number of benefits that the partnership will bring synergistically to both partners. So on our side TFG provides massive reach. It has a physical store network in South Africa that exceeds 2 500 points and that will constitute stepwise growth for us as a business. As importantly, the reach actually spreads over a diverse set of LSMs [living standards measures], and that will support our agenda to diversify our customer profile as well, because we have an under-representation in higher LSMs.

And then lastly it provides us with an opportunity to diversify income streams, given their incredibly large loyalty base, as well as the active credit account base which provides us with the perfect opportunity to lend responsibly into that base.

But I think most importantly, here are two organisations in different sectors that believe very strongly, with full conviction, in a banking proposition that serves the needs of all South Africans and can be delivered in an integrated fashion in this physical retail journey, as I call it.

FIFI PETERS: This is kind of a similar related model that you followed with the likes of Boxer and Pick n Pay. I’m just wondering if now the new tie-up with The Foschini Group is testament that that actually works in growing customer numbers?

TAURIQ KERAAN: Fifi, we are a fully regulated bank, so our proposition works much as any banking proposition. You can wire your salary into the account, you can transact in any other way and so on. So we are retail-agnostic. Our partnership with Pick n Pay and Boxer is not only very strong, but very special to us, because it was our first partnership that allowed us to solidify ourselves in the market.

The relationship with TFG is somewhat similar, but I think provides us with perhaps greater opportunity to get into the lending space. So the partnership I see as really about expansion, not substitution in any way.

FIFI PETERS: You are starting off with 600 kiosks spread across the various TFG stores. I see that TFG however has 4 600 stores or so, so I’m just wondering at what point you consider ramping up … the number of kiosks you’ll be setting up?

TAURIQ KERAAN: As I mentioned, speaking for the South African market alone, they’ve got over 2 500 physical stores. So we’ll start off with 600 kiosks, which we will use to onboard customers on a TymeBank/TMG co-branded account. Those customers will have a co-branded debit card as well. And then I think it’s a matter of assessing the economics of that arrangement, as well as the impact and the benefit that it has had for customers, before we make a call to expand further. But the opportunity certainly exists. That’s number one.

Number two, we must always remind ourselves that even though TFG has a very prominent physical store network, they are becoming increasingly active in e-commerce and, in fact, have a very large online business as well.

So we are also looking at means of collaborating on the digital side of things.

FIFI PETERS: All right Tauriq, we’ll leave it there. Thanks so much for joining us. Tauriq Keraan is the CEO of TymeBank.

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Was looking to open a business account for a small business and Tymebank looked pretty great.

Anyone have any experience with them? Any limitations?

Hi LittleGrant. I use TymeBank for my property rental business since they started the business account. Moved my business from Absa because they refused to negotiate on bank charges. Initially there was some teething problems using the card, but have not had one of those in 18 months. Saved at least R700 per month in bank charges. The only problems that I have identified/experienced so far -(1) Struggled to pay the tax assesment with the Receiver of Revenue, had to transfer the money to my Capitec account to pay from there, dont know if they have sorted that out. (2) Struggled to get debit orders set up with Tyme Bank as they did not have them as a bank on the IT systems, this has since been fixed. (3) The maximum amount of R700 000 in the account is a limitation when I sold one of my properties. Other than that I am very happy with them and their costs are really very low.

Hi Liyabona, thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately, their business bank account seems to only be available for sole proprietor and not a Pty Ltd. The fee structure does look really great though.

@LittleGrant. I have a PTY Ltd which i do from there. Been with them for 2 years and the fee saving is extremely huge. Only negative is that they don’t offer credit card or overdraft for those big jobs where you need cash flow, hence i go externally for those purposes.

oh, yes an no immediate payment options

I have been with them since 2019 and so far so good. No monthly fees is what attracted me. Savings rate 4-6.

If one has any service issues with TymeBank, how does one get hold of a branch manager? (Or am I old school? *lol*)

Or is the “branch manager” a link, tap or QR-code on the phone app?

I welcome fintech. So long they don’t give customers a scare by “pulling an offline Facebook” on us….

End of comments.

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