BSP Grants License to Gokongwei Digital Bank GOtyme
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has granted a digital banking license to GOTyme, a partnership between the Gokongwei group and Singapore-based digital banking group Tyme. It is so far the fifth neobank or digital-only bank that the BSP has approved after the Overseas Filipino (OF) Bank of Land Bank of the Philippines, Tonik Digital Bank, UNOBank, and Unionbank.
JG Summit, the holding company of the Gokongwei Group, announced a partnership with Tyme earlier this year, investing $110 million (about P5.3 billion) along with private equity fund Apis Partners to expand the Tyme brand in the Philippines, South Africa, and Malaysia.
In a news release, GOTyme said it intends to provide secure and easy onboarding through both an app and digital kiosks located throughout the mall and retail footprint of the Gokongwei group.
“In South Africa, three million of our 3.5 million customers joined TymeBank through our digital kiosks deployed in retail environments,” said Nate Clarke, GOtyme’s co-CEO. “GOtyme is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2022. We believe the combination of this technology and the Gokongwei Group’s nationwide retail footprint provides GOtyme a clear path to rapid growth.”
“GOtyme will leverage the Gokongwei Group’s extensive eco-system that is highly integrated into the daily lives of Filipinos—where they already shop, eat and spend family time,” said Jojo Malolos, president and CEO of GOtyme. “This distribution strategy will assist in the democratization of financial services, addressing the needs of all Filipinos regardless of age, income, or geography.”
Malolos will lead GOtyme, together with Nate Clarke, one of Tyme’s founding team members.
GOtyme is a partnership between the Gokongwei Group, one of the biggest conglomerates in the Philippines, and the Singapore-headquartered digital banking group Tyme. This venture combines the trusted Gokongwei brand, reputation, and multi-industry operations with Tyme’s globally proven digital banking technology and hands on experience to add an exciting new player to the Philippines’ banking community.
What is Tyme?
Tyme, which stands for “Take your money everywhere,” was launched in 2018 in South Africa. It offers interest rates as high as eight percent per year on its savings accounts and a credit card-like payment system called MoreTyme that allows users to pay only 50 percent of an item’s price at a cashier, giving them two months to pay the rest of the bill.
TymeBank is majority owned by South African mining billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital along with U.K,-based Apis Growth Fund II, a fintech private equity fund based in the UK, JG Summit Holdings (JG Summit), Africa Fig Tree (AFT), a ring-fenced vehicle established by the founders along with key individuals, and the Ethos AI Fund.
GOtyme has said it intends to contribute to the BSP’s goal of to bring 70 percent of Filipino adults into the banked population and have 50 percent of payments done online by 2023.
“GOtyme will bring about better financial inclusion for a greater majority of the Filipinos from day one,” said Lance Y. Gokongwei, president and CEO of JG Summit Holdings. “We see our model of digital banking, with onboarding and education in retail networks and a well-designed app for transacting, as the best way to provide greater financial empowerment to our customers. What Cebu Pacific has done for travel is what we plan for GOtyme to deliver in financial services.”
Esquire Philippines is published by Summit Media, which is also a unit owned by the Gokongwei family.