How AWS helped TymeBank double its users in South Africa

AWS has helped TymeBank to scale and innovate, ultimately reducing the digital bank’s costs and increasing business agility and efficiency.

This is according to Dieter Botha, TymeBank CIO, who was speaking to MyBroadband at the 2019 AWS summit at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town.

Botha attested to the power of AWS, highlighting how it has helped the company to scale while decreasing its costs.

“We have now halved our Amazon bill, despite the fact that we have nearly doubled our user base,” said Botha.

Botha added that this is crucial to TymeBank’s business model since it charges no bank fees.

“AWS is the most mature cloud platform,” said Botha. “AWS is our giant, and we are a young, digital business on their shoulders.”

Benefits of AWS

Botha said that one of the key benefits of using AWS is the fact that it attracts great talent that wants to work with AWS technology and cloud services.

“Just being an AWS ‘shop’ and using some of the more sexy things such as the service compute side, actually helps us attract and retain people,” said Botha.

Botha also said that AWS provides huge benefits to a business like TymeBank in how many different solutions and features are available within the broader AWS platform.

“What we’re finding as a new player is that there is always something popping up that we don’t have a tool for.”

“It’s incredibly useful to go looking and seeing that when we need something, is there something we can use.”

Botha said that it is incredibly useful to have access to so many tools within the AWS framework because they all inherit the security groups TymeBank has already implemented.

Supporting growth

Botha highlighted that another big benefit of using AWS is how elastic the solution is, which enables TymeBank to continually expand without their systems falling apart.

“When you expand as quickly as we have, things tend to break,” said Botha.

“We’ve actually been very lucky, and Amazon has saved our bacon a few times where we’ve been able to crank up the horsepower just by being in such an elastic cloud environment.”

Botha said that it is incredibly easy to scale with AWS.

“Actually, it’s seamless with AWS. Any problems we have with scaling have nothing to do with AWS,” said Botha.

He also highlighted how AWS allows for horizontal scaling, as opposed to simply vertical, which makes it easy for AWS to balance workloads.

Dynamic innovation

According to Botha, due to TymeBank being such a young financial service provider, it allows them greater room to experiment than traditional banks.

“Because we’re so young, we can take a bit more risk here and there, of course within the bounds of regulations, and our ability to experiment, and learn, is critical for us.”

“I think the other banks are just learning too slowly what the benefits of cloud can be – and they’ll be more stuck in the infrastructure as a service layer – EC2 – where we’ll be looking towards speed and agility.

2019 AWS Summit

According to Botha, the fact that South African tech conferences have evolved from 20-30 people into the 3,500+ event that AWS comprises, is incredibly exciting.

“Tech is my hobby, and doing what we do with our people, it’s almost aspirational for us to want to come to an event like this, and we’re incredibly proud to have been on the stage today.”

“I think its good for tech in the country as well,” Botha added.

“We always hear that people are leaving and that jobs are hard to come by – but to hear that a company like AWS is investing big-time in Africa is incredibly important.”

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How AWS helped TymeBank double its users in South Africa