South African digital bank TymeBank today announced a series of new features and changes to its business. All of these share a common thread — they’re geared to point the bank squarely at small businesses. Specifically, the bank hopes to make itself the best choice for small South African startups.
Key to this is the acquisition of a company called Retail Capital. Retail Capital focuses on something called working capital solutions. In basic terms, the company lends money to businesses in need of products or supplies to continue operations. So a shipment of food for a spaza, a batch of materials for manufacturing. These costs might not be covered by a traditional bank, but they’d help SMEs to skate over a rough patch.
TymeBank for a change
That’s not all the institution is doing. TymePOS is a feature we’ve seen in other places of late. Both Visa and Zapper have offered the option to turn an NFC-enabled phone into a point-of-sale device. Now, TymeBank offers the option to do so as well. TymeBank Business Banking customers can download the app needed from Google’s App Store. Setup takes minutes, a Merchant ID is processed within 24 hours, and the bank also supports overnight payments. Typically, those payments take seven days to run.
Then there’s TymeTrybe, an educational effort aimed at better supporting businesses. It’ll offer courses, from a range of sources, with the intention of helping entrepreneurs run their businesses better. Basically, SMEs can share information with each other to improve overall performance. Larger players, like Meta, are also getting involved. Courses on how to set up a business on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp will all be available, among others.
Then there’s something a little more tenebrous, at least for the moment. Called SellOnSocial, this is a fairly obvious feature. Or is it? TymeBank’s update will help companies set up online sales and delivery to customers, simplifying the ability to sell products all around South Africa. And, eventually, internationally as well.
There was also a slight update on the state of TymeBank’s international ambitions. According to CEO Coen Jonker, the company’s Philippines expansion, GoTyme, signed its first customer today. Next up in the bank’s plan for world domination is Pakistan, where a license is currently pending.