Photograph — CIO East Africa

South African digital bank, TymeBank has raised $110 million in private capital to expand in South Africa and the Philippines. In partnership with top Philippines conglomerate, JG Summit, TymeBank intends to apply for a local digital bank licence for its expansion into the country.

The fund was largely raised from Apis Partners, a private equity fund, alongside other investors including JG Summit. According to Coen Jonker, co-founder and executive chairman of TymeBank, the latest fund would be used to expand the business in South Africa and the Philippines.

The SA based company is positive about its expansion plan to the Asian Island as it envisions a favourable business ecosystem. In a statement, Jonker affirms that the Philippines represents the best fit in terms of TymeBnak’s business and operating model to expand and “JG Summit the best partner in terms of the retail capacity that they have and their loyalty programmes.” 

TymeBank has gathered momentum in SA within its 2 years launch, with over 2 million users. However, this latest funding will further increase its market share in Africa’s most industrialised state as the government provided a new support mechanism for SA’s fintech in 2020. Last year, the South African Reserve Bank established a new fintech innovation hub, in collaboration with several other government agencies with an intergovernmental fintech working group (IFWG) to promote the growth of digital finance in the country. 

TymeBank also plans to replicate its success in the Philippines. In November 2020 the Philippine central bank approved laws that allow for the creation and licensing of digital bank frameworks, as part of efforts to extend financial services.

Following an increase in the use of digital transactions, many Asian governments are opening up banking to digital players as the presence of fintech has helped to curb the spread of coronavirus while offering low-cost financing services. 

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