TymeBank to Keep its Interest Rate Unchanged

Greg Illgner.
Greg Illgner. Chief Strategy Officer at TymeBank.

In these uncertain times, only one thing is really certain, and that’s that every company and its dog wants to tell you what it’s doing in the wake of the Corona crisis.

Yet amidst the benign platitudes, gloomy headlines and pervasive uncertainty, here’s some really, really good news:

TymeBank, South Africa’s first digital bank, will honour their commitment to their customers and keep their interest rate unchanged at 10%.

Worth noting is that TymeBank has taken this decision before the Reserve Bank makes its announcement later today and likely cuts the benchmark interest rate by a considerable amount.

TymeBank’s bold decision is especially reassuring news for South Africans already taking advantage of their GoalSave savings tool, a free added service that allows TymeBank’s customers to earn up to 10% interest per annum by simply putting their savings in a GoalSave pocket.

TymeBank’s Chief Strategy Officer, Greg Illgner explains the reason behind this unprecedented decision: Although it is uncommon in the banking sector for a bank to not follow the Reserve Bank and lower its interest rate on deposits, we have built our business on a few core values. One of which, is that of offering our customers greater control over their money. In such uncertain times, when so little is in anyone’s control, we wanted to give our customers as much peace of mind as is possible – knowing that they will still be consistently earning the best interest rates on their savings for the next three months at the very least.”

Already offering market-leading interest rates, TymeBank has hit the ground running. Having only officially launched in early 2019, they have grown exponentially to now boast over 1.5 million customers nationally. As a Tier 1 bank, they’ve also made good on their initial promise to turn the banking sector on its head.

“Traditional banking wisdom said that you either had to have a vast amount of money, or leave your money in a savings account for a long period, in order to really reap the benefits of interest. We don’t think this serves the vast amount of people trying to save in our country,” said Greg.

“That’s why we’ve done all we can to give the best rates to the people who need it the most. From the first Rand our customers save, they earn 6%. After 30 days, this increases to 7%, and after 90 days, it increases once again, to 9%.

“The money is always available immediately, with no penalties, however, if customers are willing to wait ten days (or plan ahead), they’ll earn a bonus on top of their interest that takes the maximum interest they’ll earn up to 10%. No other savings account comes close.”

The beauty of GoalSave isn’t just its simplicity and accesibility to all, but its stark transparency too. Unlike other savings accounts, which only reveal the interest accrued monthly, TymeBank customers can log in at any time and see how their money is growing – even daily.

“From our market research, we ascertained that many South Africans have a weary relationship with interest rates and banks. They distrust them because they’ve experienced how they work against them when it comes to credit card debt and loan repayments. To reassure our customers and incentivise them to save more, we needed to make their savings as visual as possible. For this reason, our customers can watch their savings accruing daily. Many log on every day just to watch their money grow.”

With no branches and its core banking system hosted securely in the Cloud, TymeBank has far fewer overheads and employees to consider than a traditional bank. Still, with over 800 TymeBank kiosks located in Pick n Pay and Boxer stores across the country, as well as a sizeable call centre, proactive measures have been taken to ensure maximum levels of safety for customers and employees alike. To this end, TymeBank has introduced a strict cleaning regime at every in store kiosk and encouraged remote work where possible. “We’re monitoring the situation closely,” says Greg, “Minute by minute.”

 

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