Johannesburg – South Africa has a new bank, backed by billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (ARC).

South African fintech outfit Tyme announced on Thursday that it has been granted a licence by the South African Reserve Bank. The operating licence to TymeDigital by Commonwealth Bank SA is the first issued to a new bank by SARB since 1999.

TymeDigital’s CEO Sandile Shabalala said at a press briefing in Rosebank that they can now offer South Africans the ability to open accounts and transact securely within minutes.

Last month, ARC said it would buy a 10% stake in Tyme, that was owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), in order to create a black-owned, black-controlled bank that could challenge the dominance of South Africa’s current big banks.

In turn, CBA announced last month that it would sell 10% of Tyme to Motsepe’s ARC.

CBA bought a 100% stake in Tyme in 2015 in a deal reportedly worth R365m. The company originated as part of a Deloitte Consulting project that was funded by MTN, but in June 2012 the venture was spun out and established as a stand-alone business.

Tyme is currently trading as a lender that allows customers to access funds through their mobile phones, but it also gained a provisional banking licence in 2016. ARC has big plans for Tyme Bank to challenge the status quo of banks in South Africa.

Tyme’s debut as a fully fledged bank will create the first competition since Capitec Bank entered the market more than 15 years ago. Apart from Tyme, two other financial institutions are also awaiting their approval to set up shop – insurer Discovery and the South African Post Office.

Fin24