South Africa

Financial education for just R5 – with stats to show it works

One thing is clear: the vast majority of South Africans are struggling to manage their money.

If you’ve read the many reports about South Africa’s debt-ridden middle class – or have just looked at your own credit card statement recently – you may be feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

Until September 2023, you can get personal finance help for just R5

But – it’s not all bad news. A special partnership between Discovery Bank and online financial education platform Worth is offering financially-stressed South Africans a chance at relief in two ways:

1) From July to 30 September 2023, they’re slashing fees for a Worth financial education course valued at R4,999 to just R5.

2) Consumers are further incentivised with a reward of 15,000 Vitality Money points to every client who completes a Worth course (Wealthy Me or Wealthy Couples).

The question is – will education and training really change years of ingrained money habits? That’s what Discovery Bank sought to understand from research conducted among their clients, says Akash Dowra, chief growth officer at Discovery Bank.

Course participants reduced debt and increased their savings by 150%

“The data clearly reveals the great positive impact the Worth course had on our clients. The study found clients who completed a course were 57% more engaged in their finances on their Discovery Bank app – and increased their savings by an incredible 150%.”

“In addition, the data showed just 58% of our clients had R5,000 in emergency funding before doing the course. This jumped to a much healthier 79% after doing the course.

Building up savings for both short-term emergencies and for your future in the long-term are both positive behaviours, but our behavioural model also advocates for recognising and reducing unhealthy financial habits,“ Dowra noted.

“Here, the course proved to be equally effective: in the last year, the Credit Bureau reported debt of the average South African consumer increased by 8%. Among of Discovery Bank clients who were Worth participants – this debt increased by just 1%.”

Equipping yourself with money skills for a lifetime: well worth it

Hayley Parry, Worth’s Head of Education, explains: “The Worth programme offers an innovative approach to improving financial knowledge, skills and confidence of those who take our courses.”

“Through the incredible results achieved and positive behavioural change observed, we have demonstrated we can make a meaningful impact in the short- and long-term – irrespective of individuals’ initial levels of income, education, debt or Vitality Money score.”

“We’re so excited about the proactive, real help this enhanced Discovery benefit, in partnership with Worth, is giving cash-strapped South African consumers,” she adds. “Our hope is to empower every South African with financial education to make the right choices for a meaningful financial future.

We are thrilled through this partnership we’re able to fast-track this critical component of financial empowerment.”