Discovery Bank announced several new products and changes at its annual product update event with financial advisors on Thursday (30 September), including new forex and share trading features.
Hylton Kallner, chief executive of Discovery Bank, said that the new features will be made available from October and through the first quarter of 2022 on a phased basis.
Discovery Bank clients will be able to set up forex accounts in dollars, euros and pounds without any additional documents.
Clients can use the Discovery Bank app to transact and trade in real-time in these currencies and, with the Multicurrency FX Account, clients can receive international payments and choose to pay in more than 60 currencies, Kallner said.
“South Africans invest 75% of their assets in the country, yet these investments make up just 0.3% of total investments in the world. Diversification in investment portfolios is an important lever to lower investment risk.
“However, to save and transact in foreign currencies is often considered a luxury that is only available to a few. We are changing this and making it affordable and easy for all our clients to save and transact in the currency of their choice with a Multicurrency FX Account.”
Kallner said that the account would have very low fees, does not require a minimum balance, and transaction fees can be allocated to a beneficiary or shared.
Discovery has partnered with EasyEquities to offer local and international share trading through the Discovery Bank app.
Clients can search, buy and trade EasyEquities shares in South African rand, US dollar, and Australian dollar directly from the banking app, Kallner said.
“All clients have to do, is to open a trading account directly in the Discovery Bank app or link their existing EasyEquities account to a Discovery Bank account to trade and store their shares. ”
“There is no additional cost for this service, and clients can seamlessly track their trades and invest in international stocks, for example, the biggest global brands like Apple, Google or Tesla while earning Vitality Money points towards saving in the process.”
Vitality Money Financial Analyser
The newly launched Vitality Money Financial Analyser will give clients a real-time view of their finances and trends in their spending habits, Kallner said.
The bank will automatically create budgets for clients based on these behavioural trends and send reminders and personalised alerts on clients’ financial goals and progress.
“Using advanced analytics and data processing, Vitality Money Financial Analyser will give personalised details into monthly income, savings and spending.
“It also enables Discovery Bank clients to place their expenses into more than 160 pre-set categories or to personalise and re-order categories for anything from holidays to home improvements, with a predictive search functionality.”
The new Discovery Bank travel platform will allow bookings on a wider range of local and international flights, accommodation and holiday packages based on Vitality Health, Drive and Money integration.
It will also offer Discovery Bank clients an extended local airline range, providing discounted flights to over 40 destinations across Southern Africa.
Discovery Bank has launched Discovery Pay, a platform that promises secure payments between Discovery contacts with just a cellphone number, no matter where they bank.
“Clients will be able to make health payments through the Discovery Bank app to all hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories and approximately 6,500 General Practitioners by linking their Discovery Bank card to their Discovery Health Medical Scheme membership,” said Kallner.
He said that any future possible co-payments will then be automatically settled without the need to submit claims or additional paperwork.
“We’ll also award Discovery Miles for these healthcare payments at the same rate as on normal credit card transactions.”
From early 2022, Discovery Pay will also include the Pay as you Gym benefit for visits to more than 150 Virgin Active or Planet Fitness facilities in South Africa.