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South Africa's startup TymeBank could break even by 2022
JOHANNESBURG, Feb 26 (Reuters) - TymeBank, one of several
digital-only startups aiming to shake up South Africa's banking
industry, could break even by 2022, the bank's executives said
The lender, backed by billionaire Patrice Motsepe's
investment group African Rainbow Capital (ARC), has
attracted 80,000 customers since a soft launch in November and
is targeting 21 million people it says are not adequately served
by established rivals.
Deputy CEO Tauriq Keraan told a presentation on Tuesday that
TymeBank, which officially launched this week, could break even
in 2022 if it attracted 2.2 million active customers and lent to
6 percent of them.
"We really believe that if we push it that hard it is
possible for us to get to those kind of numbers in that period,"
CEO Sandile Shabalala told Reuters, adding that this was earlier
than previous expected.
TymeBank can offer much lower fees than rivals because it
has no branches and has used technology to cut costs.
Shabalala said the majority of the bank's income would come
from lending. TymeBank was in talks with a major bank to offer a
credit card, and planned to launch a separate unsecured lending
pilot in the second half of this year, he said.
Customers can set up accounts and get a debit card over 700
automated kiosks in supermarkets Boxer, owned by the country's
largest chain Shoprite and Pick N Pay, where
account holders benefit from the store's rewards programme.
The bank aims to set up kiosks at universities and small,
informal shops, and aims to offer more products from other
financial service companies backed by Motsepe's ARC, as well as
Shabalala told Reuters that, with a customer's consent, it
would use their transaction data to suggest suitable partner
products, and could earn a fee from partners in return, a model
adopted by digital-only banks in Britain and elsewhere.
Eventually, the bank could be rolled out in other countries
in Africa and Asia, executives said.
(Reporting by Emma Rumney
Editing by Edmund Blair)
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