Will Discovery get found out about its secretive new bank?
Launch on Wednesday comes in the face of stiff competition from Bank Zero, TymeBank and Post Bank
Discovery has held its cards close to its chest about what exactly its bank, which is scheduled to launch on Wednesday, is going to offer.
Apart from saying that it will be a “fully-fledged retail bank”, Discovery has kept the market wondering if it will launch a comprehensive product suite that can compete with the big four or if it will have a digital focus like the other new kids on the block – Bank Zero and TymeBank – plan to.
The only thing known about the bank at this stage is that Discovery will migrate the credit card business, a joint venture with FirstRand in which the bank issues Discovery-branded credit card, to its own bank. But that too will happen over time and not prior to the bank’s launch.
While no one knows what to expect from Discovery Bank yet, what is clear is that Discovery is entering a competitive space. It will have only a few months before it starts facing stiff competition from Bank Zero, TymeBank and Post Bank, which are expected to launch in 2019.
Competition from other quarters is also intensifying. In the low income market, Hollard started piloting a savings and transactional card a few months ago. Old Mutual, whose Money Account product is priced similarly to Capitec, reported during its interim results in September that it had grown the number of active accounts by 34% in the first half of 2018.