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How to open a Discovery Bank account

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It was a tough choice between Discovery Bank and FNB, because I have posted before asking about ebucks and we have quite a few threads about it. I did set out to open an FNB account, but had endless hassles online and it ultimately required me to go into a branch so they are out - I do not want to rely on a branch in 2020 for banking.

 

I then decided oh well let's give Discovery Bank a try, maybe I get a good deal from Virgin Active from this exercise, because make no mistake they (Discovery) are the most expensive bank in SA. Here is a link to all the accounts available on Discovery. If you read this thread, pop over to this FNB vs Discovery Bank thread first to see some of the pros and cons of each and whilst you are at it there is a great thread about FNB's Ebucks as well to give further insight in what is available in the South African banking landscape today in terms of rewards and loyalty programs.

 

Anyway to get back to the point I'll try to write this the same as I did for the How to open a TymeBank Bank Account thread. Speaking of Tymebank to open a Discovery Bank account was relatively straight forward, but nothing compares to Tymebank that process is smooth and quick it took me less than 5 minutes to open a Tymebank account, it took about an hour fiddling with files and setting up syncing etc to get everything ready for the FICA process of Discovery, I will get to that in a moment.

How to open a Discovery Bank Account

 

Step 1: Register on this page (it won't work if you go straight to the app, you'll sit in a queue) - where the button says leave your details, fill that in. You will then receive instructions with a formatting issue telling you to go login on the app.
discovery-bank-open-account-website.thumb.png.68fcdba1002227e4ca7b4463e15e7519.png

discovery-bank-grammer-formatting-issues.thumb.jpg.a849d1e1c8b9aa278da9363f37088a33.jpg

 

Step 2: Download the Discovery Bank app and then login using the ID Number you registered with in Step 1.

Step 3: Follow the instructions to FICA your account and you are done.
 

When you do Step 3 they will ask you for various documents which you need to upload from your phone (there is no website just an app) this means you need to make sure those files are on your phone. In my case I logged on to Rawson on the PC and downloaded my latest Invoice and Lease Agreement. I then uploaded that to dropbox and I then downloaded and synced dropbox with my phone, but the Discovery App cannot access dropbox, so you need to go to dropbox on your phone and then "export" the pdfs to your phone (save it to the device) then it should sit in your phone's download folder, you can then through the Discovery Bank app navigate to your downloads folder and upload the files. I did the same for my Capitec bank statements. I logged into Capitec on the website and then downloaded the last 3 months worth of bank statements and then synced it to my phone through dropbox and exported it to enable Discovery's app to access it. 

 

Once that schlep is done you should get an SMS and E-mail to welcome you. I received a call from the courier company about 3 hours later confirming my delivery address, because they will deliver your Discovery Credit Card to you. There is the option for you to collect it as well, but I am paying them R400 per month so I ticked the "deliver it" option even though the bank's office is down the road - sorry, not sorry.

 

Notes: There is ZERO website - I do not know what on earth they are thinking and I am not a predictions man, but I am fairly sure South Africa is not ready for a "App only" bank not in Infrastructure to make that happen and most certainly not in education and access (expensive data, limited coverage and cost of beefy "capable of driving a bloated banking app" phones.)

 

Besides the "infrastructure" shortfall there is also the compromise angle - Alternatives exist so why would I want to use the app to pull and print statements when I can log onto Capitec or FNB on the website and do a lot more administrative tasks more efficiently. This comes back to earlier about Tymebank, they are an App based bank, but when you want to make use of power features and do administrative tasks the website is there and your PC is connected to the printer and have excel on it to pull your CSVs into - Goodluck trying to do that with discovery without going through a whole process between devices and using third party apps to sync it all. Like @SimonPB would say "make no bones about it" this app only approach will make it more difficult for less technologically-adept customers to print out bank statements and facilitate transactions.


Concerns: I found quite a few formatting issues and some bugs (screen would freeze if you navigate between transactions and pay) I reported this to them, but have not gotten anything back and they don't respond to it on twitter either. Normally that won't bother me, but if you are going to be an expensive bank without any physical presence then I expect you to be around 24 / 7. The app is also sluggish, but I suspect that is due to latency since it appears they use AWS as well.

 

Overall my entire experience with Discovery Banking so far is perfectly summed up by @Bandit

Quote

To all the Yay'sayers: been there, tried it, left. Would've gotten the T-Shirt but the ticket is still stuck with customer care.

 

They offer absolutely nothing you cannot find somewhere else. If you are balls deep into Discovery then it may work for you but you can find cheaper accounts, better loyalty programs, better app/features, more account types and better customer service in other places.

 

Name one thing Discovery Bank is better at than any other bank.

 

With that said one thing I am excited about (as a Discovery shareholder) is the fact that Discovery (JSE DSY) now have a key insight into all aspects of our lives from health and insurance all the way to banking. This should in theory put Discovery in a position to do incredibly advance psychometric analysis on its users and map psychological traits for risk evaluation. As someone with a very keen interest in behavioral psychology this aspect fascinates me especially when it comes to credit facilities because with the transactional banking data Discovery can now create a far more accurate risk assessment based on who you really are not what you have done in the past.

 

Bonus: Here's some screenshots of the app
discovery-bank-app.thumb.jpg.ffbf97b020f4d38b9238237698054430.jpgdiscovery-bank-app-fingerprint.thumb.jpg.ba2f29155975935cdef2457f85d9dc2f.jpgDiscovery-Bank-Accounts-overview.thumb.jpg.612f573b88b79bc662388a48708985c6.jpgdiscovery-bank-app-behaviour-model-overview.thumb.jpg.4f38a93bc52c1032b26a48e675925780.jpgdiscovery-bank-app-rewards-overview.thumb.jpg.c702475958e4b803d0d9ce31241f7f38.jpgDiscovery-Bank-Overview.thumb.jpg.30043dcfef190b2660e2943f1bd776a1.jpgdiscovery-bank-app-card-overview.thumb.jpg.e455c369a8ed586afed25ed5ba129c37.jpgdiscovery-bank-app-card-limits.thumb.jpg.549d4b1e23cfd4d2ed817bdf5ab97fba.jpgdiscovery-bank-add-product.thumb.jpg.ab660bf3d99d4bd5a36da5e3aa485ce5.jpgdiscovery-bank-inter-account-transfers.thumb.jpg.b24661c03a837f4bac0fb9555233e340.jpgdiscovery-bank-app-pay-add-benificiary.thumb.jpg.8a313d7047d5342248ad1a7a86022b4a.jpgDiscovery-Bank-Pay-Beneficiary.thumb.jpg.f29783775b00263d2d1372b7d674e623.jpgdiscoveyr-bank-side-menu.thumb.jpg.6b77bd734aedaf5497e47a7dc4bb33de.jpg

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