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Discovery Bank achieves 1-million accounts and expands offerings

The full-service branchless bank will reward customers with discounted travel and fitness experiences and access to a banking account with no monthly fees

Discovery Bank has firmly established itself as the leading digital bank in SA.
Discovery Bank has firmly established itself as the leading digital bank in SA.
Image: 123 RF

Since its launch in 2020, Discovery Bank has seen strong deposit growth and considerable traction of its shared-value banking model, so much so that it hit the 1-million mark in bank accounts. 

The bank recently announced this milestone and also introduced exciting new products such as: Vitality Pay as you Gym, the Discovery Account and enhanced travel benefits such as access to The Lounge at SA airports — through a strategic partnership with SAA.

“The bank has scaled quickly and built a powerful digital banking and technology capability. This is now being deployed as the de facto operating system for the Discovery Group in SA. Discovery Bank’s digital payments technology, advanced security features and shared-value rewards represent a unique opportunity to deliver new products and digital services to all clients,”  says Hylton Kallner, CEO of Discovery Bank. 

The bank has firmly established itself as the leading digital bank in SA, operating a full-service branchless bank through its app that caters for the full spectrum of the retail market — driving high levels of client engagement, utilisation and value. This value is reflected in the 1-million accounts being held by more than 450,000 clients, with more than R11bn in deposits and R4.5bn in credit advances. 

During a product update briefing with financial advisers, the bank announced its latest enhancements:

1. A more rewarding travel experience with Vitality Travel

Vitality Travel was launched in March this year, offering a single and convenient booking platform that incorporates travel partners, discounts and other travel services through Discovery Bank. Since its launch, Discovery Bank clients are saving up to 31% per flight. With the complete rewards and personalised experiences that Vitality Travel offers, Discovery Bank makes travel as convenient and relaxing as possible for clients.

The following new benefits are now available for Discovery Bank clients:

  • Access to The Lounge offers clients an elevated preflight experience with upgraded comforts to refuel body and mind — such as premium coffee and drinks, and healthy dining options. The Lounge provides a restful, ambient space where guests can connect or get connected ahead of their adventures. As an introductory offer, clients with platinum, black or purple Discovery cards can enjoy unlimited use of The Lounge until the end of 2022 at OR Tambo (domestic and international departures), Cape Town and King Shaka airports. 
  • In addition to domestic departures at OR Tambo and Cape Town airports, Priority Fast Track is now also available at international arrivals at OR Tambo International airport for purple card holders. 
  • SAA and CemAir will also join the Vitality Travel flight partner network, complementing Safair, Airlink and Lift to complete a full offering of discounted flights on all SA domestic and regional flights.
  • Vitality Travel’s accommodation listings now also give access to properties listed on Booking.com at their best available rates. 
Discovery Bank is revolutionising banking, combining innovative technology and leading digital capabilities

2. Vitality Pay as you Gym 

Discovery Bank will offer Vitality Pay as you Gym to all clients, including those with a Discovery Account. It’s easy to use and clients can access more than 170 Virgin Active and Planet Fitness clubs nationwide. Clients simply go to a club, scan the QR code at the entrance, pay the access fee of between R75 and R100 (depending on the facility) from either a Discovery Bank transaction account, credit card or using Discovery Miles, and enjoy their workout. 

As an introductory special offer, Discovery clients can make unlimited use of Vitality Pay as you Gym for free between June 20 and July 31 2022 and get a free smoothie after their first visit. 

3. Discovery Account 

Discovery clients who don’t already have a bank account now have exclusive access to the Discovery Account. It is a digital banking account with zero monthly fees that is easy to activate. Clients can access their full Discovery product portfolio on the app and also have access to the following benefits: 

  • A Discovery Miles Account, where clients can track and save the miles they earn across their Discovery products, including their Vitality Health and Vitality Drive benefits. Clients can convert their miles into cash and automatically qualify for up to 15% off when they spend Discovery Miles — doubling to 30% off on miles on the 15th of every month.
  • Discovery Pay, the digital payments capability for real time payments, includes health pay, where Discovery Health Medical Scheme members can integrate payments for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Members can instantly settle these expenses at participating GPs, pharmacies, hospitals, pathologists, radiologists and other healthcare providers from a linked Discovery Bank account. 

“With all of the new services and capabilities, the goal is to enhance clients’ banking, travel and payment experiences, and enable Discovery Bank to be the operating system for all clients and products.” 

Other notable innovations since launching Discovery Bank include: 

  • Giving clients control of their interest rates with Dynamic Interest Rates.
  • The Vitality Money programme that helps clients manage their money well and rewards them for it.
  • Discovery Miles, the world’s first shared-value rewards currency that is worth more than cash. 
  • Vitality Money Financial Analyser — a state-of-the-art budgeting tool with smart notifications to keep clients on track to meet their money goals.
  • Vitality Travel — giving clients the most rewarding travel platform with discounts on airline tickets, accommodation and car hire across the widest range of partners — all in one place. 

Discovery Bank is revolutionising banking, combining innovative technology and leading digital capabilities — with the group’s understanding of risk and behaviour change — to create a new category of banking centred on shared value. This unique approach is driven by Vitality Money, which measures how well clients manage their money: the higher their Vitality Money status and the greater the value they receive. 

This article was paid for by Discovery Bank.