Behind the strategy: GoTyme.

Democratising banking for the unbanked in the Philippines.

TymeBank has been a front runner of financial inclusion in the South African market for more than 7 years. With over 3 million users, they were ready to expand into a new region: the Philippines. To make this possible, TymeBank partnered with Go, a leading global contactless provider. They needed a new identity and brand strategy that would help them stand out in a crowded market and reflect the people they were built to serve. Together, we wanted to bring empathy and trust to the world of banking. To do that, we needed to create a strategy fueled by cultural insight.

"GoTyme was a rare breed of project. You don't get many brands that align their business challenge with tackling an authentic problem to change the lives of people who use it for the better. This is the kind of thing strategists yearn for: unraveling a problem by building a solution that harmonises both commercial and societal impact."

Marcel Jacob, strategy director

Understanding what people want from their bank. 

We collaborated with GoTyme to understand how their team works, how the market would receive their product and the potential challenges we would face. We identified three key drivers to help us define GoTyme’s strategic framework:

1. In a world where banks, digital banks and e-wallets are promising convenience but not offering anything new in the market, there was an opportunity to elevate banking from a background system to a desired brand.

Despite an increase in digital banks, not much has changed in the financial market. Ease and convenience are table stakes that don’t dramatically improve the lives of our target audiences. We needed to rise above the sea of sameness, garnering brand advocacy and rapid brand growth.

“We want to be a verb, not a noun.”

Key stakeholder

2. In a world where profit is valued over people, we had to make empowerment our new currency.

Banking can feel clinical. We had to tackle indifference and bake in a sense of unshakable consumer empathy and empowerment, to make banking easier in an increasingly complicated financial world.

“I was criticised by the bank for using a blue pen rather than a black pen on the forms. They told me to do everything again, and this type of behaviour is very unnerving.”


3. In a world of ambiguity, jargon and hurdles, we had to be proactively transparent.

The financial services landscape is shrouded in fine print. It’s not enough to talk about transparency; we had to actually make things accessible.

“You never really know why you were denied a card or an account. The bar is so low that when things work the way they should it’s rather surprising.”


A big challenge needs a bold strategy. 

The challenge was clear: traditional banks are built on established systems and behaviours that are too intertwined with their services and operations, making it very difficult to effect change. Our job was to prove that change was possible.

We created a banking experience and brand that changed the power balance between banks and their customers. And we did that by rooting both in a strategy that redefined banking in the Philippines, shifting from a profit-first approach to banking, to one that puts people first.

Strategy drives the working sessions as we develop the initial creative work.
Close focus on the audience and their needs shapes the creative direction.

Building a financial future people want to be part of.

Another big challenge in this process was creating a covetable brand while still signalling that we wanted to do the right thing for our customers. We needed to create a brand as cool as it was altruistic. 

To help people achieve financial freedom, the brand experience needed to tackle both hard exclusion – when the systems in place push people out of the financial system – and soft exclusion – when the semiotics and culture disenfranchise them.

To tackle hard exclusion, we created a digital experience that improved the audiences’ understanding and managing of their finances. To tackle soft exclusion and change banking culture, we crafted a brand story and identity that empower people and build desire for easy banking. The combination of these two approaches set the conditions for a financial future that people want to be a part of.

"GoTyme was such a rich project. We had to focus on the intricacies of culture and partnerships while creating a distinct and differentiated experience."

Tobi Arawole, strategist

Working together to understand market needs and find genuine solutions.

Potential unlocked.  

Our approach to branding GoTyme was all about building a strategy with heart. Our north-star idea of ‘Potential Unlocked’ expresses the desire to unlock financial futures by reinventing the way we bank. By rooting the design development in that core idea, we ultimately created a brand that helped GoTyme give their audience the confidence they need to achieve financial freedom.

When strategy works.

With an articulate brand framework, GoTyme has shifted the needle for innovation and financial freedom in the Philippines.

GoTyme Bank took home the Best Innovation of Card Acquisition award in recognition of its performance milestones that helped create an open and honest financial perspective for over 250,000 users and counting.

Take a deeper look at the design here.