Of cupcakes and sharks

Discovery Bank’s business model is all about using incentives to get people to make better financial decisions. Head of client insights, Akash Dowra, tells us more.

17 May 2022

Akash Dowra, Discovery Bank

If I were to ask you what you’re more afraid of, a cupcake or a shark, I’m pretty certain your vote would be for the latter. But if Akash Dowra, head of client insights at Discovery Bank, is to be believed, the idea that sharks are more dangerous than cupcakes may be a bit off the mark. There are way more people who die due to bad lifestyle decisions than there are people who die from shark attacks, yet sharks frighten us, and cupcakes entice us.

Dowra’s point is that people tend to have different biases that cause us to downplay the ramifications of our behaviour when we only see the results of these actions at a later stage. So, we’ll eat the cupcakes without thinking about how they could affect our health down the line. “These biases are the same in finance as they are in health. In the moment, it’s so easy to think that you can always save tomorrow or go for a run tomorrow because we aren’t thinking about how our current actions contribute to future financial and physical gains.”

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