CBA acquired TymeDigital, a South African online lender then trading as TYME, in 2015 in a deal worth $40 million.
Since then and after securing a banking licence from the SA Reserve Bank, CBA has pumped around
$1 billion into developing the digital bank’s technology and systems infrastructure required to become a branchless bank.
Despite these significant investments, CBA has decided to review its operations in the country with the intention of exiting and this has created the perfect opportunity for Motsepe’s ARC to pick up a majority business in the digital bank, which is set to be launched before the end of the year.
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“TymeDigital by CBA is on track to launch its full digital banking offering in South Africa by the end of this year. As the business continues to gain momentum, we have begun exploring the most suitable long-term structure for TymeDigital,” a spokesperson for CBA was quoted telling Street Talk.
ARC currently owns a 10% share in the bank and acquiring CBA’s controlling stake would be just what Motsepe needs to fulfil his ambition of establishing a black-owned, black-controlled bank.
TymeDigital currently operates as a mobile money transfer service and the launch of its full digital banking service is expected to disrupt the banking industry in South Africa.
TymeDigital CEO Sandile Shabalala previously said the bank would be targeting the emerging middle-class market, as well as the underserved small- and micro-sized business markets.
He said being a digital bank gave them a competitive edge as far as operational costs are concerned and because they will be able to keep costs low, these savings would be passed on to its customers.
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TymeDigital has entered into a 10-year partnership with retail giant Pick n Pay, which will develop points of presence at its stores to expand the bank’s reach.
ARC is also making inroads in the telecommunications sector, with its 20% ownership in former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan’s newly launched mobile data network Rain.
With no contract lock-ins, bundles or monthly fees and mobile data priced at just 5c per meg (R50 per gig), Rain is set to become a major disruptor in the mobile data space.
“Data will never expire and customers will never have to pay expensive out-of-bundle rates. At any time, a Rain customer will be able to set and manage their SIM’s spend-limit, ensuring that they never experience bill-shock,” the company boasts.