TymeBank reached its first month of profitability in December 2023, less than five years since launching in February 2019.

It is believed to be the first digital bank to break even in South Africa and on the continent.

“We are extremely proud of our achievement, particularly when you consider that, globally, less than half of the top 100 digital banks are profitable,” says Coenraad Jonker, CEO of TymeBank. “In fact, a recent study stated that less than 5% of all neobanks worldwide had reached profitability.

“And of those that are in the black, most have taken a lot longer to become profitable; notable examples being Latin America’s Nubank and London-based Monzo, which took eight and seven years respectively.

“Having achieved our first month of profitable operations in a significantly shorter timeframe is a South African success story that our 8,5-million customers can share with pride,” he adds.

“As the country’s first digital bank we’ve overcome numerous challenges as we consistently innovated and broke new ground in the market. Through it, our team has remained focused and committed to our mission of providing South Africans with affordable, accessible, and quality banking services. This purpose has clearly resonated with consumers given our rapid growth, high levels of customer satisfaction and the successful introduction of a wide range of products and services.”

He attributes the bank’s success to several key factors, including the combination of digital channels with in-store kiosks, strategic retailer relationships, the 30% growth of its lending portfolio year-on-year, continued confidence of its shareholders, affordability and ease of doing business.

TymeBank chairperson Thabani Jali comments: “Congratulations to the TymeBank team on an extraordinary achievement. On behalf of the board of directors and TymeBank’s leadership team, I must extend my gratitude for our investors’ continued faith in our vision and their commitment to our collective success. Their trust in TymeBank’s team has been instrumental in driving us to this outcome. To appreciate their investment, we are committed to building a sustainable future that delivers a solid return on investment.”

Dr Patrice Motsepe, founder and chairman of major shareholder African Rainbow Capital (ARC), says: “TymeBank’s landmark achievement comes after more than four years of dedicated effort, strategic investments, and an unwavering commitment to the business’s core mission to offer quality banking services to all South Africans. Having attracted more than 8,5-million customers, TymeBank’s unique proposition continues to digitally disrupt and transform the banking sector. And as the business evolves, we are seeing it gradually appeal to more affluent consumers who appreciate its unrelenting innovation, customer-centric transparency and accessibility.”