Discovery CEO Adrian Gore says Discovery Bank isn’t just another retail bank. He describes his company’s newest business offering as a “behavioural bank” – the first of its kind in the world.

“Discovery Bank presents the latest manifestation of our core purpose of making people healthier and enhancing and protecting their lives. The banking system in South Africa is world-class and our competitors are brilliant,” Gore said.

“We did, however, see a gap in-between the traditional offerings and Finch offerings, a third entry point that is essentially a new category of banking and a first of its kind globally – a behavioural bank… Our ambition is to create a new category of banking – behavioural banking – through which we dramatically impact the landscape of financial health and resilience in the country.”

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He says Discovery was in a unique position to use the company’s shared-value model to leverage the bank’s operations.

“In the same way that we aimed to address the negative impact of human behaviour on health risk and the sub-optimal design of insurance systems through our share-value insurance model, Discovery Bank aims to do the same in the context of financial risk and banking systems,” said Gore.

Consumers who want to join the bank can do so via a smartphone app from March next year.

Discovery is hoping to repeat the success in the banking sector by offering incentives to cultivate better financial behaviours among consumers in much the same way as Vitality has impacted people’s behaviours toward keeping fit and eating healthily.

By controlling five behaviours – namely spending less than we earn, saving regularly, having insurance policies for the big events, paying off a bond and long-term investing – the bank is able to reduce key risks like unaffordable debt, exposure to unexpected expenses and insufficient income in retirement.

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Discovery Bank will also offer customers personalised interest rates, dependant on each individual’s financial behaviour, with the opportunity to reduce interest rates on credit cards and to earn more interest on savings as their financial behaviour improves.

It’s a full retail bank with transactional and credit card capabilities, a single card facility, multiple payment options and banking options for families, as well as a variety of savings options.