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.
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?
|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|
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.