How does Discovery Bank measure up against other South African banks?

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Banking is an industry that’s rarely ever shaken up, and we’re glad to see some new blood on the scene. Discovery, the company that offers life insurance, medical aid and credit cards, and rewards customers healthy habits via its Vitality programme, now wants to reward your sensible financial habits with its new bank. 

The medical aid giant calls its bank a ‘behavioural bank’, and it promises many of the same incentive mechanisms as its Vitality scheme… except now the product isn’t medical or car insurance, it’s money. If you handle your finances well, your interest rates on savings go up, for example. While bad financial decisions could make borrowing money harder. 


Read More: Discovery Bank is coming in March 2019, here’s what you need to know


Discovery Bank recently released its official pricing for three account options. The cheapest bundle account, called the Gold Account, will cost a fixed fee of R90 a month (plus R35 for Vitality Money), with its Platinum Account at R135 a month (plus R45 for Vitality Money), and a Black Account for R325 a month (plus R55 for Vitality Money). You’ll have the option to add Vitality Money for an additional amount every month. How do its prices measure up against other banks’ options? 

Entry-level options

Discovery Bank Gold Absa Gold Value FNB Gold Nedbank Savvy Plus TymeBank EveryDay
Monthly Account Fee R90 (R125 with Vitality Money) R107 R109 R110 Free
ATM Cash Withdrawal 4 Free 5 Free Free up to R4,000 p/m 4 Free Free at Pick n Pay / R8 per R1,000 at other banks
POS Swipes/Withdrawals Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited R2 for withdrawals
Debit Orders Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Internal Free / External R2
EFT Payments Free Free Free Free R4

 

The Discovery Bank option above looks very similar to other options in the same price bracket when you look at costs. So, it’ll depend on each person’s preference. If you, for example, expect to gain a bunch of free stuff and special offers from having a ‘healthy’ financial profile, Discovery is the way to go. If you don’t conduct many transactions in a month and want to pay minimal bank fees, check out TymeBank

The same goes for all other banking options in the country — do your research thoroughly, and make sure the perks/fees match what you expect from a bank. Yeah, Discovery is shaking up the industry a little. But if you’re all for reckless spending and lending… it might not be the best option. But then, no bank will be.

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Deputy Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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