Discovery Bank reveals customer numbers and plans for 2022

 ·9 Dec 2021

Relative new kid on the block, Discovery Bank says it had over 400,000 clients in November 2021, of which over 375,000 were primary clients – 31% more than the beginning of the calendar year.

The bank is adding more than 600 clients per day, according to Hylton Kallner, the chief executive of Discovery Bank, while more than half of these clients are new to Discovery Group, with a high-value business mix, he said.

The bank, which launched in 2019, is also on-track for break-even by 2024 with strong revenue growth and expense efficiencies, and a client base of 600,000 – 700,000, Kallner told investors on Wednesday (8 December).

He outlined strong growth in deposits to R9.0 billion, making Discovery Bank the 7th largest bank in South Africa by retail deposits, while its R4.25 billion in credit advances puts the bank 6th in the country on this basis.

The bank, Kallner said, is achieving annualised revenue of R1 billion with transaction volumes, utilisation and engagement all growing rapidly.

  • NIR (non-interest revenue) per client is 20% above the market average.
  • The Bank has ±25% of the high-net-worth spend market share.
  • Operating expenses per client have been reduced by 20%.

In its annual results report for the end of June 2021, Discovery said that its banking unit grew to 362,000 clients and 649,000 accounts, “expanding its existing Discovery and non-Discovery client base and achieving 500 average daily new-to-bank sales”. Retail deposits at the time.

The bank said it continues to focus on product innovation and building a differentiated and sophisticated digital platform. This has included the launch of a payment platform that includes Apple Pay and Discovery Pay; a more valuable Discovery Miles currency; and enhancements to travel through the Vitality Travel platform.

The bank said that customers can expect four new initiatives in the first quarter of 2022 around the following:

  • Discovery Bank Forex Account – 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 – zero fees for transferring between currencies.

  • Financial Analyser – This platform offers detailed analysis and insights on income, expenses and savings and will give clients a real-time view of their finances and trends in their spending habits. 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.

  • Vitality Travel – The platform will offer Discovery Bank clients who are also Vitality Health members up to 75% off local and international flights, 25% off holiday accommodation and car hire, and 15% off international holiday packages.

  • Discovery Pay – Discovery Bank customers will be able to make payments to other Discovery clients in their contact list. The money would then be deposited into their contact’s existing South African bank account, no matter who they bank with.

Read: Discovery’s data shows that mandatory vaccine policies work in South Africa

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