Investment holding company African Rainbow Capital (ARC), which was founded by billionaire SA businessman Patrice Motsepe, announced on Sunday that TymeBank, in which ARC has a majority shareholding, has entered into a partnership with the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) to offer a banking proposition to its members.
The ZCC is the largest African-initiated church in Southern Africa, with membership of about 12 million. About nine million ZCC members are based in South Africa of which about six million are adults.
The partnership with TymeBank introduces the ZCM (Zion City Moria) Membership Card, which will serve as both a membership card as well as the member's bank debit card.
Among the benefits offered by the card are extra Smart Shopper rewards on Pick n Pay purchases; zero-rated data for SmartApp and internet banking; and security access control;
The first phase of the partnership is a pilot run with a smaller group of ZCC elders taken through TymeBank's kiosk-based process, supported by Zetnet agents.
Zetnet Mobile is a mobile and digital services company, managed by Shafick Jardine and Trevor Theledi, which is owned by the church. The company drives the church's digitisation mandate, distribution and mobile telephony products and services.
Motsepe said at the launch, which took place at the church's headquarters in Moria, Limpopo, that, as the majority shareholder in TymeBank, ARC is very proud of its partnership with the ZCC to provide a competitive and low-cost banking product to the members of the ZCC.
He pointed out that ARC, which is entering its fifth year as a business, has made a number of key investments to drive financial inclusion. For instance, in the life insurance industry it partnered with Rand Mutual Assurance and African Rainbow Life; in healthcare it partnered with Afrocentric; in pension fund administration it partnered with Alexander Forbes and in banking it launched TymeBank.
"All of these investments, along with many others, challenge the status quo in terms of the often relatively high cost base that makes it very challenging and unaffordable for ordinary people to enrol for financial products or services. It is through participation in the formal economy that people are afforded the opportunities to improve their lives, the lives of their families and their communities," said Motsepe.
According to TymeBank CEO Tauriq Keraan, the partnership between TymeBank and the ZCC reaffirms the strength of its business model and technology, "which allows us to scale quickly and at low cost by partnering with organisations that have strong existing relationships with customers".
"Our partnership with Pick n Pay and Boxer has allowed us to grow rapidly to over one million customers in nine months since launching and we are still acquiring over 110 000 customers per month through their stores," said Keraan.
“Our partnership with the ZCC will not only bring us a step change in customer acquisition growth but, importantly, will also result in high levels of account utilisation due to the strong affinity between the ZCC and its members. This partnership has been made possible by the common goal of financial inclusion between the partners, our next-generation mobile version of the kiosk, and our ability to leverage the distribution network of ZetNet."
* Compiled by Carin Smith