​NEWS ANALYSIS: The new digital bank on the block

October 16, 2017

Business Time / 12 OCTOBER 2017 - 12:04 / Stephen Cranston


TAKING AIM AT THE UNBANKED - Digital outfit with huge resources has rolled out a mass-market strategy in Indonesia. Now it’s about to hit SA


TymeDigital by Commonwealth Bank SA is quite a clunky name for a new-age bank. It is a lot less catchy than 20Twenty, SA’s last digital bank, which collapsed 10 years ago. But the SA Reserve Bank has learnt a lesson from 20Twenty, which had uncommitted shareholders:parent Standard Chartered dumped it at the first sign of crisis in SA.


TymeDigital’s parent company, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has been rolling out a mass-market digital strategy in Indonesia and Vietnam and sees it as the best way to penetrate the unbanked.It has no shortage of resources. With a market cap of A$134bn (R1.4 trillion) it is larger than the entire banking sector of the JSE.


Tyme has the foundation of its black economic empowerment strategy, having sold a 10% stake to Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (ARC). In time there could be tie-ups with other ARC companies; Alexander Forbes needs ever cheaper banking for its pension fund administration, for example.The Commonwealth Bank connection certainly helped TymeDigital jump the queue of new bank applications, ahead of Discovery Bank and the Post Office’s Postbank.