Discovery CEO Adrian Gore. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
Discovery CEO Adrian Gore. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

Discovery Bank has “gone live” in Johannesburg but will only go be formally launched in March next year.

Adrian Gore, CEO of Discovery, says it will become the world’s first behavioural bank, as it will incorporate the financial behaviour of its clients to offer rewards that include the likes of dynamic interest rates on savings and borrowings.

The bank’s offering will be open to all members of the public in March, not just existing Discovery members.

“It will be an omni-channel offering, including branches and digital platforms,” says Gore. The bank will have 3,000 employees at its launch.

The bank will give 10% of its equity to black depositors. 

The new bank will complement the existing, mature businesses in SA, which includes health, life and motor insurance, as well as  long-term savings. “We will seek to integrate the offering with all aspects of our existing product lines, that’s a central part of our strategy,” says Gore.

The obvious starting place for the bank are the 350,000 Discovery cardholders and the health of 3.5-million people being administered through Discovery Health — 40% of the local market share.

The bank will be launched at a time when competition is being increased in the local market with the introduction of entities such as TymeBank by entrepreneur Patrice Motsepe, and former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan launching Bank Zero in the new year.

Gore’s latest initiative has already attracted the attention of executives of the country’s largest banks. Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala stated in August that the new Discovery Bank is going to be a “fierce competitor”.

thompsonw@businesslive.co.za