Leadership changes at Tymebank as it nears 5m customers

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 24 May 2022
Coen Jonker, newly named CEO of Tymebank.
Coen Jonker, newly named CEO of Tymebank.

Tyme Group has appointed co-founder Coen Jonker as new CEO of digital-only bank TymeBank, while current CEO Tauriq Keraan will be group executive: growth projects for Tyme Group.

According to a statement, Keraan will be responsible for leading the group’s establishment in new territories, as part of Tyme Group’s geographic diversification strategy.

The new announcement comes amid a series of leadership changes, as the digital contender embarks on the next chapter of its growth strategy.

Other appointments are: David Pfaff, Tyme Group’s current CFO, will take over from Jonker as Tyme Group CEO, and Cheslyn Jacobs, who is currently responsible for TymeBank’s sales and service function, will be appointed chief commercial officer, accountable for revenue generation.

The new appointments come after TymeBank’s rapid growth in SA, with the bank racking up almost five million customers, and having rolled out a slew of services since inception.

Meanwhile, Tyme Group, which has always aspired to be a multi-country business, says it is strengthening its position as an international digital banking group.

It is making major advances in the Philippines, with the imminent launch of GOTyme Bank, the digital bank modelled on TymeBank, which officially submitted its application for a digital banking licence in Pakistan in March 2022.

“TymeBank in South Africa has nearly five million customers, and the bank is on course to break even in 2023,” says TymeBank chairman Thabani Jali.

“We believe the time is right to redeploy key executives into positions that will let the group take advantage of opportunities that are opening up in new territories.”

In February last year, TymeBank secured R1.6 billion in funding from investors in the UK and Philippines. The bank said the funding would be used to expand its product offering and explore international opportunities.

The leadership changes, which come as a changing regulatory environment is creating opportunities in countries across South and South-East Asia, are aligned to the company’s international expansion strategy, it says.

“Tauriq has been instrumental in making TymeBank a South African success story, having assimilated a multitude of unique learnings in the shaping of the bank’s business model through the formative period of its lifecycle. He is therefore the ideal person to lead Tyme Group’s establishment in new territories and shape the customer experience across the group,” adds Jali.

Jonker, who has retail banking, fintech and deal-making experience and expertise in SA and several Asian markets, comments: “First, a huge thank you to Tauriq for his outstanding leadership − growing our customer base to nearly five million, growing the bank’s net operating income 12-fold through the pandemic, achieving consistently high customer satisfaction levels and successfully positioning TymeBank as a credible alternative to legacy banking in South Africa.

“We look forward to building on his accomplishments by continuing to enhance TymeBank’s unique value proposition for the benefit of South Africans across the economic spectrum.”

Commenting on his new appointment, Keraan says: “This is an exciting time for the group and having personally spent the last 13 years building and scaling digital banking businesses in South Africa, I look forward to playing a more active role in establishing Tyme Group as a leading global digital banking player. I have no doubt that the next phase of the bank’s growth trajectory will be equally exciting.”

In his new role as Tyme Group CEO, Pfaff will move to Tyme Group’s head office in Singapore, where he assumes responsibility for the group’s international growth strategy.