Smart Money – Discovery Bank CEO Hylton Kallner unpacks the SpendTrend 2024 report

In this Smart Money with Alishia Seckam interview, Discovery Bank CEO Hylton Kallner discusses his company’s SpendTrend 2024 report – compiled in collaboration with Visa.

Kallner is an actuary and a business builder who has been a part of Discovery’s ecosystem since 1996.

He began his journey with the brand as a key player in various marketing, actuarial, and strategic projects within the company.

Kallner then became the company’s Chief Marketing Officer in 2006 and has served in multiple CEO positions at Discovery – becoming Discovery Life CEO in 2016, Discovery South Africa CEO in 2020, and Discovery Bank CEO in 2021.

With his extensive experience and deep understanding of Discovery’s shared-value business model, Kallner is uniquely positioned to drive outstanding growth at Discovery Bank.

Vision for the future

Kallner’s vision for Discovery Bank is clear, and his strategic decisions are guided by a commitment to the company’s shared-value business model – ensuring its continued success.

Discovery Group recently highlighted Discovery Bank’s success in its interim results for the six months ending December 2023.

Discovery Bank had reached monthly operational break-even and increased its client base by 42% to 825,000 over the six-month period.

The key to this impressive success has been Discovery Bank’s focus on innovation, which was most recently evident in its launch of a new home loan product.

This initiative leverages SA Home Loans’ physical footprint and capacity to serve the bank’s clients and demonstrates Kallner’s commitment to finding new and innovative ways to serve their customers.

Discovery Bank also prioritised the home loan sector as it believes it is ripe for disruption, with Kallner stating that approximately 60% of all South African mortgages are potentially mispriced.

The interview

Kallner explained why it is important for Discovery Bank to release the SpendTrend report each year, and the value of working with Visa on this project.

He then discusses the key findings, including the impact of South Africa’s socio-economic situation on customer spending across different segments in the country.

Kallner touches on several interesting topics, including the fact that South Africans spend a larger portion of their earnings on groceries than people from other countries – partly because takeout food is less popular locally.

He also touches on fuel spend, noting that part of the reason South Africans spend more on fuel is we drive more – whereas public transport is more popular in other countries.

Kallner then expands on digital payments in South Africa, noting that we had the fastest-growing adoption of digital payments and wallets globally.

He says this is a good indication that South Africa is a global leader in digital banking and the sector is embracing digital solutions at scale.

Kallner concludes the interview by explaining how Discovery Bank uses the data from the SpendTrend report to deliver better solutions to its clients.

Watch the full interview with Hylton Kallner below.


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