GoTyme, TymeBank Group to Expand to Vietnam and Indonesia This Year

GoTyme, TymeBank Group to Expand to Vietnam and Indonesia This Year

by April 23, 2024

TymeBank is gearing up to extend its footprint further into Southeast Asia with planned launches in Vietnam and Indonesia, following its profitable operations in South Africa and successful venture in the Philippines.

Coenraad Jonker, CEO of TymeBank as well as co-founder and Chairman of its parent Tyme, the digital banking group active in Africa and Asia, revealed these strategic moves in a recent interview with DealStreetAsia.

“We’re set to launch our Merchant Cash Advance product and onboard our first customers this month in Vietnam. However, retail banking will follow in the next 12-15 months. As for Indonesia, we aim to introduce Merchant Cash Advance products before the end of this year,”

Jonker detailed.

The choice of Indonesia as a key market was underscored by Jonker’s positive experiences with local regulators and the country’s commitment to making financial services more accessible.

Coenraad Jonker

Coenraad Jonker

“Indonesia is an ideal market for our model. My past interactions with regulators were positive, and Indonesia is deeply committed to democratising finance access[…] There are two things I’d emphasise – giving customers a great experience with our app and integrating human interaction into digital banking strategies,”

Jonker told DealStreetAsia.

Reflecting on the operational model, Jonker explained the adoption of a ‘phygital’ approach—a blend of digital and physical presences. This strategy involves placing digital kiosks in physical retail spaces such as grocery stores, apparel shops, and office lobbies, complemented by brand ambassadors who assist potential customers.

This model, Jonker noted, has been instrumental in the Philippines under the brand name GoTyme Bank, significantly reducing customer acquisition costs.

“This model allows GoTyme Bank to have a very low customer acquisition cost (CAC) of US$4 per customer,”

he said.

The CEO also addressed the broader challenges of digital banking, particularly in regions like the Philippines where issues like identity fraud and the absence of a well-coordinated credit bureau present significant hurdles.

“Digital banks prioritise lending over deposits. But lending poses significant challenges in markets like the Philippines due to prevalent identity fraud and the absence of a well-coordinated credit bureau, making it a high-risk endeavour,”

Jonker remarked.

In the Philippines, GoTyme Bank’s integration within the retail landscape has resulted in customers using its services an average of 14 times a month. Jonker attributes this to the advantages of data sharing between the bank and retailers, which enhances customer service and risk management.

Looking forward, TymeBank is buoyed by a strong financial foundation, having raised over US$273 million in equity funding to date. Jonker’s vision includes a public offering by 2028, by which time he expects the bank to have matured significantly in its initial markets and to be ready for new challenges and opportunities.

“I believe by 2028, we’ll reach a level of maturity where we’ll be profitable in our initial markets and gain momentum in subsequent ones. At that point, it will make sense for us to no longer rely on private equity funding,”

he concluded, reflecting a confident outlook for TymeBank’s future in the digital banking landscape.



Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik