Tymebank

tymebank
tymebank card
  • Easy to open online
  • Low fees
  • No branches but plenty of kiosks
  • Personal and business accounts
  • Get paid early
  • Free Visa card
  • Rewards
  • Up to 8% savings account

A digital bank that shook up South Africa and brought an easy-to-use bank account to many of its inhabitants. Let’s find out what benefits does TymeBank bring to its many customers and see if you should also open an account. But first, here’s our short verdict:

TymeBank brought a much-needed simplicity to banking in RSA where big banks ruled for far too long. We like that it has no monthly costs and that the fees that you do have to pay are presented to you upfront. TymeBank doesn’t have any branches but it does have plenty of kiosks even though its app is super easy to use. 

tymebank infographic

About Tymebank

TymeBank is a digital bank from Johannesburg. It started in 2012 as part of a Deloitte project but was then established as a standalone business. Tyme is an acronym for “Take Your Money Everywhere”. In 2015, it was acquired by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to be sold in 2018 to South African entrepreneur and billionaire Patrice Motsepe.

The company is the first bank in RSA to be granted a commercial banking license in the country since 1999. 

TymeBank is reportedly signing up from 3,000 to 5,000 customers every day and has reached 3 million users in a little over two years since it launched its app in 2019. 

The bank is a member of the Tyme group of companies headquartered in Singapore that are planning to launch operations in Asia starting with a digital bank in the Philippines.

Why is Tyme so special?

We already mentioned that it was the first bank in South Africa that was granted a commercial banking license in a long time. The interesting thing is that 85% of Tyme’s accounts were opened at retailer’s kiosks around the country and only 15% were opened online. 

The ease of use is what separates it from other big banks in RSA and the fact that there are no monthly fees coupled with many features that people love is what makes it so special.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Many TymeBank kiosks with helpful ambassadors
  • Easy to open an account online
  • Great interest rates
  • Free Visa card
  • Free in-house transfers
  • MoreTyme credit
  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • Fees for withdrawing cash from ATMs
  • Fees for cash deposits
  • Fee for withdrawing money by a non-Tyme customer
  • A business account only for Sole Traders
  • No app for iPhones
  • Limited availability of online shops that accept the TymeBank card

Fees

There are a lot of things that you get for free with a TymeBank account. For instance, there’s no monthly fee, the Visa debit card, and the TymeBank app are free, transfers from TymeBank to TymeBank, first deposit at a till point, cash withdrawal with TymeCode or card at PnP and Boxer till points are also all free.

Then there are the fees that include:

  • R3 fee for cash withdrawal with a debit card at till point of other retailers
  • R3 fee for a debit card balance inquiry at ATMs
  • R3 debit card, debit order, and ATM decline fee
  • R3 to buy vouchers like 1ForYou
  • R6 per R1000 Cash deposit with a TymeCode at Pick n Pay and Boxer till points
  • R6 per R1000 Cash deposit with a TymeBank Visa debit card at Pick n Pay and Boxer till points
  • R6 Non-TymeBank customer SendMoney cash withdrawal
  • R9 fee for cash withdrawal from ATMs (R9 per R1 000)
  • R9 fee for dispute or stop debit order
  • R9 to dispute a debit card transaction
  • R60 fee for a debit order dispute older than 40 days
  • R60 fee for an unsuccessful debit order dispute
  • R60 fee for an unsuccessful debit card dispute
  • R60 fee for a debit card replacement
  • R160 fee for a late payment reversal to TymeBank

How to open a TymeBank account?

To open a TymeBank account, you’ll need:

  • Your ID number
  • Your cellphone number, and
  • You must be 16 years or older

Simply go to the TymeBank website or download their banking app for Android (no iOS). Alternatively, find the nearest TymeBank kiosk at most Pick n Pay and Boxer stores and apply with your SA ID number and phone number. 

Either way, you open the TymeBank account, you’ll have to pick up your new Visa card at one of the kiosks. 

TymeBank profiles

TymeBank has three different kinds of bank profiles, depending on how many pieces of information you’ve shared with them. 

  1. “Just met” – verify your name, ID number, and some personal details by visiting the website or a TymeBank kiosk
  2. “Getting to know you” – verify your name, ID number, biometrics (your photo and thumbprints), and some additional personal details at a TymeBank kiosk
  3. “Good friends” – verify your name, ID number, biometrics (your photo and thumbprints), some additional personal details, and confirm your residential address at a TymeBank kiosk

The good thing is that you don’t need to bring any documents along with you to the kiosk to verify that the information you give is accurate.

The higher your profile level the fewer limits you’ll have and more features will be available to you. 

For example, with the “just met” profile your maximum account balance is R40,000 and with “good friends”, it’s R700,000. 

TymeBank EveryDay Personal Account

  • Salary paid a day early
  • No monthly fees
  • Cash withdrawals at Pick n Pay and Boxer till points
  • Send money to anyone with an SA cellphone
  • Prepaid electricity, airtime, data + SMS bundle purchases
  • Free Visa debit card

This popular personal account has many handy benefits apart from having no monthly fees. It comes with a free Visa debit card that you can print out yourself at TymeBank kiosks. 

If you ever passed by one of the kiosks, you might have noticed a person standing beside it. That person is called a TymeBank ambassador and is there to help you open an account or help an existing customer to use it. 

It’s no wonder then that 85% of new customers used a kiosk to open a TymeBank account. 

TymeBank Business account

To be able to open a business account, you have to be an existing TymeBank Personal EveryDay account holder with your details verified at a TymeBank kiosk. It is only available for Sole Traders for know and not companies. 

Your profile limits will stay the same as your EveryDay Personal account limits because they are shared across both your EveryDay Personal account and your EveryDay Business account.

The account is very similar to the personal account with some added features to make the entrepreneur’s life easier. 

For example, there’s the bulk payments option that helps you pay up to 30 different invoices at once. You can make a payment to TymeBank account holders, non-TymeBank account holders, and to people’s cellphone numbers all in the same batch of payments.

The total value for all value-added services, including prepaid electricity, airtime, data + SMS bundles, is R5,000 per day.

Any money that’s sent to you has to go to your personal account first and only then you can transfer it for free to your business account.

TymeBank money transfers

Money transfers are only available within South Africa. Transferring money is free for TymeBank users, while non-TymeBank customers pay a fee of R4 per transaction when receiving money.

Transferring Money TymeBank to non-TymeBank

To transfer money to anyone, you need an EveryDay account. Then you can send money to anyone with a valid SA cellphone number (no bank account needed). They can withdraw the money for free at any Pick n Pay or Boxer till point or, withdraw it from any ATM for R9 per R1000. 

The person you’re sending money to will get an SMS with the Rand value and a 10-digit voucher number. This number is valid for 7 days.

Transferring money from TymeBank to TymeBank

The money you’ve sent instantly goes into the receiver’s TymeBank account and they get an SMS to let them know it’s arrived. The transfer is free.

Receiving international payments via EFT

There are some things that you need to know in order to receive international payments. First, both the TymeBank account number and SWIFT code “CBZAZAJJ” have to be filled in.

The transfer takes a few days to clear as it goes through ABSA, FNB, Standard Bank, or Nedbank to your account and any foreign currency will automatically be converted to Rand at that point.

The foreign bank might ask for an IBAN number that South Africa doesn’t use. In that case, you can use your TymeBank account number with the branch code to create a number that can be used as an IBAN number.

MoreTyme

MoreTyme is basically interest-free shopping where you pay for things half up front and the rest over two months. 

To apply for MoreTyme, you’ll need your profile to be “Getting to Know You” or “Good Friends”. You’ll then see the option in the app and you can apply for it. 

If you have a “Just Met” profile, you’ll need to upgrade it to a higher one before you’re able to apply for MoreTyme.

To make a purchase with MoreTyme, you’ll have to be in a partner store that you can recognize by having MoreTyme stickers. Not all items in the store are eligible though. 

When you’re ready to pay, log in to your SmartApp account and tap “BUY”. A digital payment voucher, with a barcode, will appear on the screen and you have 15 minutes to use it. It can be scanned or entered manually. 

The first payment that is 50% of the price will be taken off your account at the till, the second payment (25%) after 30 days, and the final (25%) after 60 days from purchasing. 

GoalSave 

If you want to save up some money, you’ll definitely be using GoalSave. It’s like a savings account but you can take out the money at any time. The longer you leave the money in GoalSaves the bigger the interest rates:

  • 4% > 1-30 days
  • 5% > 31-90 days
  • 6% > 90+ days
  • 7% > Give a 10-day heads up (after 90 days) that you’ll be taking your payout and earn yourself a bonus that takes your interest rate up by 1%
  • 8% > If your salary is paid into your TymeBank account, and you give a 10-day heads up after 90 days that you’re taking your savings out, you get an extra 1% more

You can have up to 10 GoalSaves that you can top-up as often as you want. There’s no penalty for withdrawing the money out of a GoalSave early.

Rewards

TymeBank is letting you earn Pick n Pay Smart Shopper points when you spend with your TymeBank debit card at any till point in any shop and you can earn double the points when shopping at Pick n Pay.

The same goes for shopping online. At BP stations, you’ll get 10 points for every liter of fuel that you buy. 

How is TymeBank regulated?

TymeBank was granted its license by the SARB (South African Reserve Bank) in September 2017 and is regulated by them. Tyme is the first bank since 1999 that received a banking license by SARB. 

The South African Reserve Bank Act, 1989 regulates the SARB and the monetary system in RSA in general.

Is my money safe with TymeBank?

South Africa doesn’t currently have an explicit deposit insurance scheme (DIS) although one is apparently in the works. It should supposedly insure deposits up to R100,000. 

In the past, the government compensated depositors for their losses on a case-by-case basis.

It’s not clear what would happen with your money if TymeBank collapsed and there are no mentions on their website where the deposits are being kept – on Tyme’s accounts or in some other bank.

Who owns TymeBank?

African Rainbow Capital 9AFC), owned by South African entrepreneur and billionaire Patrice Motsepe is the majority owner of TymeBank. The black-owned financial services company bought a 90% stake in Tyme from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) in 2018. 

TymeBank is a member of the Tyme group of companies.

The bottom line

Although this neobank is still working out some kinks, it offers a great product that is sure to appeal to many more customers in RSA. You can’t hold the water once the dam is breached and we love the fact that RSA’s big banks are finally getting some competition for their personal and business bank accounts.