Discovery Bank has announced that following an extended early testing period, it would begin onboarding new clients in earnest from 1 July 2019.
The bank was officially launched late last year, although it initially limited its customer base to design its scaling strategy – a process which has taken longer than expected.
“The early onboarding phase – limited to 1,000 clients – was longer than planned, however was vital,” said Discovery Group CEO Adrian Gore.
“We are building a behavioural bank with over 120 distinct and connected systems, and given this, needed to finalise four structural factors relating to the Bank, namely the integration of full-scale digital banking functionality for clients within the Discovery ecosystem, the systems and technology infrastructure, the rewards architecture, and the migration of existing Discovery Card holders.”
Discovery Bank CEO Barry Hore said that clients in Discovery’s ecosystem are typically affluent and spend three times more per card than the market average while having half the bad debt risk.
“The early onboarding phase confirmed what we knew at the start of the project: that Discovery could build a broad-based and feature-rich bank for these clients – and hence, in time, all South Africans – on day one of transacting,“ Hore said.
“Discovery Bank is mobile-first and deposit-led, while providing clients with sophisticated lending capabilities from the get-go.”
Roll-out and features
Following its testing period, Discovery Bank will aim to onboard 1,000 new clients every day by the end of August 2019 and continue to scale even faster after this point.
“Discovery Bank is focused on clients not accounts, and has a carefully planned rollout, which will place it in a favourable growth position relative to other banks in the environment,” Gore said.
“We are encouraged by the substantial show of interest from non-Discovery clients and would like to give those who have already expressed interest, and who are patiently waiting for the opportunity to onboard, the assurance that we will get to them starting 1 July.”
During its testing phase, Discovery Bank was able to streamline the process of migrating FNB Discovery Cards to its own platform.
The bank added that over the next few months, all cashback and discounts offered to customers will be converted into Discovery Miles.
Customers will be able to use Discovery Miles within the company’s ecosystem and with its partners, or simply convert their Discovery Miles into cash.
“This will offer our Bank clients supreme flexibility in how they convert and apply their rewards, leveraging the ubiquitous nature of our banking system,” Gore said.