Ina Opperman

By Ina Opperman

Business Journalist

New turnover-based finance option for small business owners

There are different ways to finance your small business and turnover-based finance is one of them.

Access to turnover-based finance for small business owners is one of the new offerings from TymeBank, after acquiring fintech small and medium enterprise funder, Retail Capital.

Other new offerings include a mobile point-of-sale app and a world-class financial community platform.

Retail Capital is an award-winning fintech company that provides funding to small and medium-sized businesses in South Africa. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and if the deal goes through, Retail Capital will become a division of TymeBank and the foundation of the digital bank’s expanded business banking offering.

The deal would see Retail Capital’s funding expertise and TymeBank’s deposit base and operations combined to serve a broader customer base. TymeBank believes it is critical to be able to channel funding efficiently to business owners in South Africa to expand the historically underserved small business sector.  

“This acquisition will enable TymeBank to expand its offering to entrepreneurs to include working capital finance. Retail Capital has acquired significant risk management experience over the past decade and through different economic cycles. They have an experienced team in place and their risk models and operational processes have been battle-tested and optimised to a significant degree for small-business funding,” says Coen Jonker, CEO of TymeBank.

“Together, we look forward to providing access to innovative solutions to ensure business owners can fuel their growth, drive job creation and contribute to the broader economy.”

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Small business offerings

He says the two entities have much to offer, with an evolving suite of digital solutions that make it easier to do business in a challenging environment. TymeBank’s current business banking offering, which already has over 100 000 customers, includes a transactional business account that can be opened in under five minutes, zero monthly bank fees, a free debit card and online purchase transactions and free bulk payments.

Retail Capital lowers the barriers to funding for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through an easy, three-step online application process. In the last 10 years, Retail Capital has already provided over R5,5 billion in working capital to more than 43 000 business owners in South Africa, making it the largest SME funder of its kind in the sector. 

The last five years have seen Retail Capital establish itself as an award-winning fintech partner, giving businesses instant access to funding through embedded solutions. Retail Capital will continue to support the economy through innovative funding technology and strong partner relationships.

The two businesses are also economically complementary and complete each other. Retail Capital’s product offering to small businesses requires a flexible source of low-cost capital, which TymeBank’s deposit base can provide.

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Retail capital and small business funding

“Retail Capital has a long history of supporting SMEs by enabling them to access affordable funding that helps their businesses grow. Now, through this acquisition by TymeBank, we will be able to scale the offering, giving SMEs the opportunity to expand through funding that works on their terms,” says Karl Westvig, CEO of Retail Capital.

“Retail Capital already powers many industry-leading partners in the acquiring, retail and payments space to support their SME customers. The tie-up with TymeBank will further enhance this offering to our partners’ customers.”

Westvig says Retail Capital and TymeBank have their customers best interests at heart and see this strategic move as a positive one that will greatly assist all business owners in South Africa. Tyme Group, through its multi-country digital banking presence, will also enable Retail Capital’s international expansion into other markets.

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New offerings

  • TymePOS, a mobile point-of-sale app that turns an NFC enabled cellphone into a tap-and-go payment device. As a softpos solution, TymePOS offers the best pricing in the market for merchants of this size. It also has market-leading next-day settlements for merchants while the industry standard is seven days. The app is available for download on the Google Play Store and it will take a TymeBank Business Banking customer just two minutes for app on-boarding. Customers will then receive a merchant ID to start processing card payments within 24 hours. 
  • TymeTrybe, a world-class financial community platform that equips business owners with a comprehensive range of business tools, accredited courses and other educational services, as well as access to networking opportunities. This will be a key feature of TymeBank’s expanded Business Banking offering. The TymeTrybe platform was designed by Tribe Fintech, a global fintech company and Tyme partner that has secured partnerships with several high-profile organisations, including global tech giant Meta, Wits Business School, BrownSense and SMEasy as contributors to the platform.

“It is exciting to know that visionary banks like TymeBank, along with our partners such as Meta, Wits and SMEasy, share our vision to take a more holistic look at the amazing people at the heart of our business communities. This is a momentous step in our journey to create community oriented B2B banking for every size and type of SME around the world,” said Mo Harvey, Founder and CEO of Tribe Fintech.

An innovative web-based e-commerce app that makes it easy for small merchants to sell their wares on Facebook and Instagram is also in the pipeline, with a delivery service that will be included as part of the offering, aptly named ‘SellOnSocial’.

Jonker says the small business sector in South Africa is vital to economic development and job creation and deserves all the help it can get, particularly given the immense hardship of the last few years.

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