New South African tech bank shootout

Discovery Bank was launched on 14 November, offering a completely digital banking service with products designed to improve the money management of clients.

Discovery CEO Adrian Gore described the new venture as the world’s first “behavioural bank” which will reward clients for healthy life choices and good financial decisions.

Some of these benefits include dynamic interest rates and “fantastic discounts” with Discovery’s commercial partners.

Discovery Bank will offer a wide range of features through its smartphone app, including seeing all your accounts at a glance and setting up budgets and tracking your spend.

Bruce Whitfield’s eNCA interview with Gore sheds more light on the new Discovery Bank.


One of Discovery Bank’s biggest competitors is TymeBank, which recently received its banking licence from the SARB and has started to offer digital banking service to customers.

Sandile Shabalala, CEO of TymeBank, said they aim to provide affordable and accessible banking services to all South Africans.

It will not have any brick-and-mortar branches. Instead, it will create TymeBank kiosks in partnership with Pick n Pay.

TymeBank has a simple pricing structure – there is no basic monthly fee and clients only pay for the services they use.

Many services are free, and the most expensive transaction is cash withdrawals at ATMs of other banks which cost R8.

The eNCA interview below provides a good overview of TymeBank’s plans.

Bank Zero

Bank Zero said in October that it has been integrated with the national payments system of the SARB, and has begun trials in preparation for the launch of its banking platform.

Bank Zero cofounder Michael Jordaan said the bank will offer innovative banking at low costs – and high interest for savings.

The bank will not rely on traditional banking structures like head offices or branches, and the bank will be run entirely on an app that the company has built.

The bank also has its sights set on changing the banking sector and offering better services to customers compare to existing banks in South Africa.

Bruce Whitfield’s eNCA interview with Michael Jordaan provides a good overview of Bank Zero’s plans.

Discovery Bank vs TymeBank vs Bank Zero

With three digital banks offering very similar services, it raises the questions as to where these banks are the same, and where they differ.

The graphic below provides an overview of how Discovery Bank, TymeBank and Bank Zero compare.


Now read: Discovery Bank launched – All the details

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New South African tech bank shootout