This SA Digital Bank just registered 1 million accounts

BY Partnered Content 4 MINUTE READ

Over the past year, Discovery Bank has seen strong deposit growth and considerable traction of its shared-value banking model amongst its client base; the appeal of a full service, shared value, digital bank is reflected in Discovery Bank’s strong growth to over 1 million accounts since its public launch in 2020.

Today, as the Bank announced the milestone of reaching one million accounts it revealed exciting new products, including Vitality Pay as you Gym, the introduction of theDiscovery Account – available to clients of the Discovery group and enhanced travel benefits like access to The Lounge, a strategic partnership between Discovery and SAA providing airport lounge access for the Bank’s clients.

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

Discovery Bank has firmly established itself as the leading digital bank in South Africa, operating a full-service branchless bank through its banking 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 one million accounts being held by over 450 000 clients, with over R11 billion in deposits and R4.5 billion in credit advances today.

At its product update briefing with financial advisers today, the Bank announced its latest product enhancements:

1. A more rewarding travel experience with Vitality Travel Vitality Travel was launched in March of this year, offering a single and convenient booking platform that incorporates travel partners, discounts, and other travel services through Discovery Bank. Since its launch, in the short space of four months, Discovery Bank clients are saving on average 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 all Discovery clients.

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

– Access to The Lounge, a partnership between Discovery Bank and SAA, which offers clients an elevated pre-flight 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 beautiful 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 Discovery Bank 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.

– The Vitality Travel platform accommodation listings now also gives access to properties listed on Booking.com at their best available rates.

2. Vitality Pay as you Gym

Making physical activity more accessible for all Discovery clients, Discovery Bank will offer Vitality Pay as you Gym to all clients, including those with a Discovery Account. It’s easy touse 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, seamlessly 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 20 June and 31 July 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 fully digital banking account at zero monthly fees, that is easy to activate; clients can access their full Discovery product portfolio in the app and also have access to these benefits:

– The Vitality Travel booking platform and its unique rewards with a 10% saving on local and international flights (up to 35% for Vitality Health members) on all domestic and regional flights – including Airlink, FlySafair, LIFT, South African Airways and CemAir – as well as on accommodation and car hire. The platform also includes access to properties and the best available rates on Booking.com so that clients can book everything in one place, with the option of paying with Discovery Miles and using the benefits of Vitality Travel servicing.

– A Discovery Miles Account where clients can track and save the Discovery Miles that they earn across their Discovery products (including their Vitality Health and Vitality Drive benefits). Clients can convert their Miles into cash and they automatically qualify for up to 15% off when they spend Discovery Miles – doubling to up to 30% off on Miles Ð-Day (on the 15 th of every month).

– Discovery Pay, the digital payments capability for real time payments. This includes Health Pay whereby Discovery Health Medical Scheme members can integrate payments for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Members can instantly settle any out-of-pocket expenses at participating GPs, pharmacies, hospitals, pathologists, radiologists, and other healthcare providers directly from a linked Discovery Bank account.

“Our first million accounts is an endorsement of our shared-value banking model and provides us with a strong foundation to continue to disrupt the market. With all of the new services and capabilities announced today, our goal is to do just this and further enhance our clients’ banking, travel and payments journeys, and enable Discovery Bank as the operating system for all Discovery clients and products.” Kallner concludes.

Other notable innovations since launching the Bank in 2019 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. On the 15th of every month clients can get up to 40% off when they spend their Discovery Miles at leading retailers across South Africa.

– 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.


Digital Platform Wise Move to Revolutionise South African Moving Industry

BY Partnered Content 4 MINUTE READ

When it comes to doing business in South Africa, innovation is the key to success. That’s why the newly launched digital platform Wise Move is a game-changer for the moving industry.

Wise Move is the only digital platform in South Africa for moving companies. They’ve made the entire moving and delivery experience easier for everyone – and in the process, they created a new space for our local entrepreneurs to expand and flourish. It’s bringing healthy competition into a sector that desperately needs a larger SME landscape.

“We identified a large gap in the market – there is no single source of information or portal that allows clients to view and compare prices from reputable movers. There is also no easy way for movers to find and communicate with new clients. Thus, we created the platform to help clients and moving companies alike,” explained Wise Move founder and CEO Gediminas.

How does it work? In a nutshell, users can submit delivery requests for transporting anything from furniture, cars and motorbikes to more unique requests like transporting an item you want to buy on Gumtree or a beloved pet. The platform then connects that request to local vetted moving companies and carriers who effectively bid for your delivery. Better quotes are often due to carriers already being en route, or through backloading (when a return trip is empty). This means optimised loads for carriers and better prices for clients. A win-win situation.

“Not every request needs a big truck, and when you’re moving something, you want the best solution at the best price.” That’s where Wise Move gets interesting from a business perspective.

The moving industry has been operating in the same way for many years now.

The moving industry in South Africa hasn’t changed much over the last decade. It is very fragmented, which means that there are many moving companies, and each one offers a different service. This makes it difficult to compare prices and to choose a service provider. In addition to this, the quotes offered by leading companies are often too expensive for users who end up trying to do it themselves or privately. The industry also lacks transparency and user-friendliness because clients have to rely on their own knowledge to barter for better prices.

This is where there is a gap in the market for SME carriers. Small businesses with even one transport vehicle or a single flat back can make use of this opportunity. There are currently hundreds of requests for deliveries on the platform, and there are opportunities for businesses in small towns to gain new clients.

SME carriers can help clients by offering prices in line with the local market while still making a profit.

The aim is to help facilitate an easy and stress-free delivery. South Africa is a transport-intensive economy, and moving and doing deliveries is part of that.

South Africa’s first online moving platform enables clients to compare prices and receive quotes from moving companies all in one place.

The Technology

Developed over several years, the platform is built on strong technology that makes it intuitive, easy to use, and offers a seamless experience from start to finish. Once your delivery request is up, the algorithm helps connect moving companies based on route, location, request and time.

While Wise Move was only recently launched in South Africa, they already have a global footprint. With over 10000 successfully completed deliveries and an average rating of 9.6 across their sites, the system works.

“South Africa needs more digital platforms, where the client can easily access services and where the service provider can find new clients. This boosts the economy and creates new opportunities for development in a growing economy.”

Wise Move offers users an enhanced moving service at significantly reduced rates while connecting moving companies to new clients.

Registering as a client is easy; simply complete the delivery request, and you’re done. Carriers will then get to respond with quotes. All the quotes you receive are public and binding.

If you are a carrier, registering requires an onboarding process. The Wise Move team manually approves every moving company that wants to bid on delivery requests.

This means that when someone receives quotes on Wise Move, the movers are vetted professionals.

The platform was designed to revolutionise the way people move homes and book deliveries in South Africa by creating a transparent marketplace where movers can compete for the client’s business.

What makes Wise Move so valuable in South Africa is the fact that it helps users find movers no matter where they are or where their belongings are heading. The nature of it is also inclusive— moving companies from all over can and have already registered on the platform. Find movers from Johannesburg to Nelspruit, Cape Town to Upington, and Durban to East London. No matter where you need a moving company, Wise Move can help you find them.

“This is all about empowering the client and giving them more choice. Users know what they want, and now we are enabling them to get the best price from many companies that compete for their business. There’s never been a platform like it in South Africa.”

What’s Next for Wise Move?

“Our vision is to continue expanding our services within the South African market and eventually, take Wise Move to other countries in Africa. We also have several exciting developments in the pipeline as we continue to expand our online platform.”

Supersonic launches its 5G offering and expands with uncapped Fixed-LTE home solutions

BY Partnered Content 2 MINUTE READ

Internet Service Provider, Supersonic has bolstered its fifth-generation (5G) offering and expanded its broadband portfolio with the introduction of Uncapped Fixed-LTE Home solutions.

The launch of the Uncapped Fixed-LTE (FLTE) & 5G builds on the launch of Supersonic’s AirFibre solution, introduced at the beginning of 2021, and makes further strides in helping reach the unconnected at affordable prices.

Supersonic has developed FLTE Home Uncapped plans and 5G network technology to provide unlimited data connectivity to customers’ homes across 125 locations, spanning all the country’s provinces.

Megan Nicholas, Supersonic Managing Director, stated that “Supersonic customers can now enjoy an increase in the number of devices that can be connected to a single access point without losing quality. 5G brings the cutting-edge benefits of greater speed and more stability, while ensuring users access new opportunities.

Uncapped allows you to budget better and avoid mid-month top-ups – whether working, learning, playing, or just staying in touch with family and friends”.

As part of the fleet (suite) of service offerings, Supersonic has built on its products and innovations to bring the cutting-edge benefits of 5G to all users.

“We aim to consistently provide additional affordable options for more people to accesshigh-quality solutions with low latency and stable download speeds in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, East London, and several smaller towns, Nicholas said.

The newly launched month-to-month Uncapped Home FLTE plans, include a free-to-use router, with a Fair-Use Policy (FUP) which varies according to each package.

Supersonic Uncapped Home FLTE Lite plan with 400 GB FUP is priced from R499, with Uncapped FLTE Premium with 1 TB FUP and the Uncapped 5G Lite plan with 400 GB FUP is priced at R699. Meanwhile the highest tiered – offering of Uncapped 5G Premium, with a 1 TB FUP, is in the vicinity of R999.

FLTE technology is steadily growing within the country, as it offers wireless broadband

transfers data using wavelengths and analog infrastructure, which save costs and expand reach without compromising quality.

“It continues to grow substantially as a powerful solution for more people to access the world of connectivity,” Nicholas said.

She further noted that the Uncapped FLTE internet piggybacks on existing infrastructure offering affordable solutions to households that may never have been able to access the benefits of the modern, connected world.


SAFx Rater confirms Discovery Bank’s new-generation forex account offers a unique experience

BY Partnered Content 4 MINUTE READ

Discovery Bank today released its inaugural “SAFx Rater”, a comparative analysis of features and benefits of forex accounts offered by major banks and forex providers in South Africa. With the recent strengthening of the rand against major currencies, there has been significant interest in opening foreign exchange accounts to take advantage of this. Discovery Bank has conducted an analysis to benchmark all the offerings available to retail consumers in the market.

The SAFx Rater reviewed the forex accounts available from Discovery Bank and four leading South African banks against the following seven distinctive elements that define a new generation forex account:

1. Easy access and the ability to open an account in seconds.

2. Seamless integration in the banking platform with full visibility

of all accounts.

3. The best real-time buy and sell rates 24/7.

4. The ability to instantly transfer funds into foreign currency and

back into rand.

5. Full control to manage foreign currency allowances in real time.

6. Competitive fee levels.

7. Virtual cards with immediate transactional capabilities.

Hylton Kallner, CEO of Discovery Bank said, “We looked at every element of what would make an account efficient, cost-effective and simple to open and use – from origination to transactions all the way through to tracking and reconciliations. In this market comparison of various forex accounts, only three banks in South Africa offer real-time forex rates in their app. We confirmed our rates to be among the best available across these and, in addition, meeting all seven metrics in the comparison, truly placing Discovery Bank’s forex accounts in a category of its own.”

Discovery Bank is the only bank to meet these seven distinctive criteria that define a new generation forex account

As a recent entrant into this market segment, Discovery Bank set out to create the first new generation forex account in South Africa. The results of the analysis, released today, indicated that while most banks’ forex offerings include some of the aspects of what a new generation forex account should offer, only Discovery Bank’s forex accounts met all the criteria included in this new analysis, at the lowest cost for clients. Since launching its forex capabilities in February, the Bank’s clients have already taken advantage of the functionality to open over 7 000 new forex accounts and made R50 million in deposits across multiple currencies.

Discovery Bank also benchmarked the rates offered to purchase 100 GBP/Eur/USD every hour on the hour from 08:00 to 20:00 over a two-day period on 10 and 11 March 2022. The following chart shows the rate clients would pay for foreign currency at the three banks that have real-time payments and reveals that Discovery Bank consistently offered its clients the best rates at the lowest spread.

Furthermore, when compared against banks that do not offer real-time rates or transfers, Discovery Bank, along with the other two banks that offer real-time rates, still offer more competitive purchase rates reflecting the benefits of real-time transactions in the fluid market.

Kallner says technology and fintech developments have made it easier for people to navigate almost every aspect of financial services through apps or smart devices.

“One such aspect, is accounts for foreign currency trading, saving, and payments – all valued services in a world that is getting smaller. Considering the changing needs and demographics of banking clients, our development of forex accounts really looked to define and incorporate functionality that placed Discovery Bank’s forex accounts in a completely unique category; a new-generation account that meets every need.”

“I am pleased that our inaugural SAFx Rater covering the seven key elements of forex capabilities shows, across the board, that Discovery Bank forex accounts are leading in terms of ease of access, convenience, functionality and competitive rates to currently make it the most comprehensive and competitive forex account in the market,” he said.

Hylton Kallner, CEO of Discovery Bank

“We have worked hard to ensure that we offer clients comprehensive forex accounts that provide best-in-market services and rates. With these accounts, our clients have all the major benefits and functionality to seamlessly connect to world currencies; to pay for services in more than 60 currencies and to save and transact in euro, British pound, and US dollar directly from their Discovery Bank app in real-time, whenever they want and wherever they are,” Kallner added.

About Discovery

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, active in 27 markets with over 20 million members. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets including AIA (Asia), Ping An (China), Generali (Europe), Sumitomo (Japan), John Hancock (US), Manulife (Canada) and Vitality Life & Health (UK, wholly owned). Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY.