How many people have signed up for Discovery Bank

Discovery Bank has published new data on the growth recorded during its first full-year of business, including the number of clients it has signed up.

The financial services group on Thursday (10 December), announced the appointment of Hylton Kallner as chief executive officer (CEO) of Discovery Bank, with effect from 1 January 2021. Kallner takes over from Barry Hore, as the bank has completed its build and migration phase, during which several important milestones were achieved.

Discovery said it attracted more than R5 billion in retail deposits, along with a ‘solid trajectory’ in credit utilisation, with over 531,000 accounts held by 295,000 clients.

“In just under two years since launching, Discovery Bank deposits are growing three times faster than the market, with strong growth in client spend of R12 billion.

“Discovery Bank is mobile-first and deposit-led, providing clients with sophisticated lending capabilities from the get-go. It is the 7th largest credit card provider in South Africa, with a 65% lower arrears rate compared to that of the market – having extended over R3.75 billion in credit.”

Discovery chief executive Adrian Gore said that from the outset the bank placed a dedicated focus on the successful migration of clients from the FNB joint venture to the Discovery Bank platform.

“While this was happening, all aspects of the bank were fully operational, including our completely digital on-boarding and compelling rewards structure and we’re pleased that 50% of these clients have already upgraded to Discovery Bank,” he said.

Gore said that migrating roughly 223,000 clients to the Discovery Bank system also required significant coordination with the support of Visa.

“Although we aimed to make the process as smooth as possible, it did, at times, influence our ability to maintain the excellent levels of service our clients rightly expected from us.

“Since then, we’ve placed enormous emphasis on continuing to innovate and improve the customer experience, which is evidenced by how positively the latest rewards and digital enhancements are being received and recent recognition by the Ombudsman for Banking Service’s as the best dispute resolution bank in the smaller bank category,” Gore said.

Other key data points from Discovery include:

  • Discovery said that its banking app has been downloaded more than 344,000 times;
  • Discovery Bank cards were swiped or tapped 1.4 times every second with at least 72 other banking transactions every minute;
  • The bank said that it receives more than 44,000 calls each month and resolves 61% of client queries during the first interaction;
  • In 2020, Discovery Bank clients earned in excess of 4 billion Discovery Miles and spent 3.1 billion Discovery Miles at the various partners;
  • Clients were rewarded with over 1.6 billion Discovery Miles for healthy behaviour.

“Our experience over this first year has shown us that our model, driven by incentives and rewards is already proving successful in achieving its intended outcomes and changing people’s behaviour with their money,” said Gore.

“Building a completely new bank without legacy systems has allowed us to combine innovative technology and digital capabilities, as seen with the addition of contactless banking solutions like Discovery Pay and virtual card.

“With Discovery’s proven understanding of risk and behaviour change, we really believe our Shared-Value bank – the first of its kind – will create a better, stronger society.”

Read: Discovery Bank appoints new CEO

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How many people have signed up for Discovery Bank