Digital bank GoTyme Bank, a joint venture between the Gokongwei group of companies and multicountry digital banking group Tyme, outstrips the 2-million customer milestone on December 22, beating its target for the end of 2023. Driving its success is its award-winning phygital model that has allowed it to deliver preferred banking services to all Filipinos.
Nate Clarke, GoTyme Bank president and CEO, says, “In merely 14 months since the start of our commercial operations, we have reached 2 million customers. The better news is that this growth is translating into deep adoption: GoTyme ranks 7th among local banks in monthly Instapay volume [per Bancnet], 7th in active debit cards [per Euromonitor], and 5th in finance apps [per data.ai]. Further, we recently surpassed P10 billion in outstanding deposits.”
GoTyme Bank is consistently ranked in the top 5 finance apps in both Apple App Store and Google Play Store in the country by data.ai, a leader in mobile market data app analytics and solutions.
Clarke credits GoTyme Bank’s sustained growth to its phygital model that combines a well-established digital system with physical and human banking, seamlessly integrating the convenience of digital technology with human-led interactions. This has allowed GoTyme to extend preferred banking services to every Filipino, and not just the top 5% of the population.
Its 462 kiosks, strategically placed in Robinsons retail outlets and other locations all over the country, are supported by a team of 1,400 bank ambassadors (BAs). Together, these kiosks and BAs contribute significantly to two-thirds of GoTyme’s customer acquisition.
This puts GoTyme Bank on track toward profitability, having prioritized innovation and customer acquisition in its first year of operations. Clarke is happy to share that GoTyme Bank “is ahead of plan in financial and operational metrics.” He is confident that GoTyme will hit its profitability target in 2025, three years after its commercial launch. “Our focus on providing preferred banking to all Filipinos through our phygital model will pave the way to unlocking the Filipino financial potential,” he says.
GoTyme’s emphasis on human interaction and support ensures that customers feel understood and that their needs, and even desires, are acknowledged and met. Its use of technology as a tool for inclusion and accessibility streamlines processes and products to cater to all its customers, including small entrepreneurs.
It is equally heavily invested in its human workforce and its tech capabilities like artificial intelligence (AI). AI automates tasks like research, lead generation, and fraud detection, among other things, toward improved efficiency.
Clarke notes, “For improving customer service, AI capabilities allow us to analyze our customers for us to predict their needs and behaviors. For enhancing cybersecurity, AI can identify shadow data, monitor irregularities in data access, and sound alerts to security threats. At heart, however, our interactions remain human to human.”
GoTyme has also adopted cutting-edge technology that it keeps upgrading to strengthen cybersecurity controls. It employs high levels of encryption throughout its platform and conducts automated security checking of its code with a tool for analyzing software for bugs and vulnerabilities. It works with NICE Actimize, the leading global provider of financial crime, risk, and compliance solutions, while continually educating its customers on the secure use of digital banking platforms and encouraging them to set up features such as multifactor authentication, SMS or email alerts, and fraud monitoring.
With AI dominating the current conversation, data-driven AI capabilities allow GoTyme Bank to analyze customer needs at a granular level, putting it in a better position to predict human needs and behaviors more accurately.
“This way, we get to know more what our customers need and what they like,” says Albert Tinio, GoTyme Bank co-CEO. “In turn, this leads us to develop improved services or products.”
He also makes a case for heavily investing in humans. “We believe in human interactions, in making connections, in building relationships, in making our customers feel that they are heard, that they are understood, and that their concerns and issues will have solutions,” says Tinio. “And this is because we empathize. We feel them—it’s all about the emotional connection and trust in the end, especially for highly sociable Filipinos.”
“Opening a GoTyme account is not an intimidating experience,” Tinio says. “There is zero discrimination in our operations. This is also the reason we invest in personal bankers (PBs) so that when customers have inquiries or issues, they will not be speaking with bots but with real people with real solutions.”