TymeBank to acquire leading fintech SME funder, Retail Capital, as it bolsters its business banking offering

By TymeBank - 02 August, 2022
  • Small business owners to benefit from access to turnover-based finance provided by SME funder Retail Capital
  • Other new offerings include a mobile POS app and a world-class financial community platform, with more to come

Johannesburg, 3 August 2022

TymeBank, South Africa’s fastest growing digital bank, is set to bolster its business banking offering with a series of new initiatives, key of which is the proposed acquisition of Retail Capital, an award-winning fintech company that provides funding to small and medium-sized businesses in South Africa. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, would see Retail Capital become a division of TymeBank and the foundation of the bank’s expanded business banking offering.

Access to Finance

The deal would see Retail Capital’s funding expertise and TymeBank’s deposit base and operations combined to serve a broader customer base. TymeBank believes being able to channel funding efficiently to business owners in South Africa is critical to the expansion of the historically underserved small business sector.

“This acquisition will enable TymeBank to expand its offering to entrepreneurs to include working capital finance. Retail Capital has acquired significant risk management experience over the past decade and through different economic cycles. They have an experienced team in place and their risk models and operational processes have been battle-tested and optimised to a significant degree for small-business funding.

"Together, we look forward to providing access to innovative solutions to ensure business owners can fuel their growth, drive job creation and contribute to the broader economy,” said TymeBank CEO Coen Jonker.

The two entities have much to offer, with an evolving suite of digital solutions that make it easier to do business in a challenging environment. TymeBank’s current Business Banking offering, which already has over 100 000 customers, includes a transactional business account that can be opened in under five minutes, zero monthly bank fees, free debit card and online purchase transactions and free bulk payments, among other benefits.

Retail Capital lowers the barriers to funding for SMEs through an easy, three-step online application process. In the last 10 years Retail Capital has already provided more than 43 000 business owners in South Africa with over R5.5 billion in working capital, making it the largest SME funder of its kind in the sector. The last five years have seen Retail Capital establish itself as an award-winning fintech partner, giving businesses instant access to funding through embedded solutions, and they will continue to support the economy through innovative funding technology and strong partner relationships.

The two businesses are also economically complementary and synergistic. Retail Capital’s product offering to small businesses requires a flexible source of low-cost capital, which TymeBank’s deposit base can provide.

“Retail Capital has a long history of supporting SMEs by enabling them to access affordable funding that helps their businesses grow. Now, through this acquisition by TymeBank, we will be able to scale the offering, giving SMEs the opportunity to expand through funding that works on their terms.
“Retail Capital already powers many industry-leading partners in the Acquiring, Retail and Payments space to support their SME customers and the tie-up with TymeBank will further enhance this offering to our partners’ customers.
“Both Retail Capital and TymeBank have the customer front of mind, and we see the strategic move as a positive one that will greatly assist all business owners in South Africa,” said Retail Capital CEO Karl Westvig.

Tyme Group, through its multi-country digital banking presence, will also enable Retail Capital’s international expansion into other markets.

New offerings

TymeBank’s business customers stand to benefit from the launch of a new offering, TymePOS, a mobile point-of-sale app that turns an NFC enabled cellphone into a tap-and-go payment device. As a softpos solution, TymePOS offers the best pricing in the market for merchants of this size. It also has market-leading next-day settlements for merchants (industry standard is seven days). The app is available for download on the Google Play Store, and it will take a TymeBank Business Banking customer just two minutes for app on-boarding. Customers will then receive a merchant ID to start processing card payments within 24 hours.

TymeTrybe, a world-class financial community platform that equips business owners with a comprehensive range of business tools, accredited courses and other educational services as well as access to networking opportunities, will be a key feature of TymeBank’s expanded Business Banking offering. The TymeTrybe platform was designed by Tribe Fintech, a global fintech company and Tyme partner that has secured partnerships with several high-profile organisations, including global tech giant Meta, Wits Business School, BrownSense and SMEasy as contributors to the platform.

“It's exciting to know that visionary banks like TymeBank, along with our partners such as Meta, Wits and SMEasy, share our vision to take a more holistic look at the amazing people at the heart of our business communities. This is a momentous step in our journey to create community-oriented B2B banking for every size and type of SME around the world," said Mo Harvey, Founder and CEO of Tribe Fintech.

Also in the pipeline is an innovative web-based e-commerce app that makes it easy for small merchants to sell their wares on Facebook and Instagram. A delivery service will be included as part of the offering, aptly named ‘SellOnSocial’.

“The small business sector in this country is vital to economic development and job creation and deserves all the help it can get, particularly given the immense hardship of the last few years. We believe our revitalised business banking offering is what small business owners want, need and deserve,” said Jonker.


About Retail Capital

Since its inception in 2011, Retail Capital has developed a robust risk decisioning process for small business funding products, launched a successful set of fintech solutions, and developed the underlying technology for embedded funding solutions. They have also built an experienced executive and operational team, and are currently profitable and capital generative. Retail Capital has a high-touch relationship model as well as a low-touch POS-based embedded funding solution. Over the past decade, Retail Capital has funded more than 43 000 business owners with over R5.5bn to date.

About TymeBank

TymeBank is currently one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks, with more than 5 million customers since launching in February 2019. The bank is founded on simplicity, transparency and affordability and is designed to make digital banking accessible and affordable to all South Africans across the economic spectrum. TymeBank is majority owned by Dr Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (‘ARC’). Recent investors include Tencent, an internet and technology company based in China and CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor. Others include UK based Apis Growth Fund II (‘Apis’), a fintech private equity fund based in the UK, JG Summit Holdings (JG Summit) a Philippines based conglomerate owned by the Gokongwei family, African Fig Tree (AFT), a ring-fenced vehicle established by the founders along with key individuals, and the Ethos AI Fund. For more information, please visit www.tymebank.co.za.

About Tribe Fintech

Tribe’s mission is to provide underserved SMEs all over the world with simple business tools and networks to help them make better business decisions and improve their financial health. Tribe Fintech is a data-driven company with a founding team from SMEs, international financial institutions, major banks, fintechs, payment companies and non-profits. Co-Headquartered in Singapore and Ireland, it comprises a team of global leaders in technology and financial inclusion that has created a tech platform and a force for change. Led by sole female founder Mo Harvey, Tribe has already raised a multi-million-dollar Pre-seed round and counts Tyme as one of its pioneer investors.

About Tyme

Tyme is a multi-country digital banking group, focused on bridging the digital divide in emerging markets, by integrating into physical retail ecosystems. Headquartered in Singapore with offices in Hong Kong and Ho Chi Min City, Tyme designs, builds, and commercializes digital banks for the mass market, with a particular expertise in serving under-served and under-banked populations. Tyme’s flagship operation is TymeBank, with more than 5 million customers in South Africa since launch in February 2019. Tyme’s hybrid model of digital banking and physical service has made banking accessible to South Africans across the economic spectrum with one in every eight eligible South Africans holding a TymeBank account.

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