22seven to make users money wise

2012-05-11 09:26
22seven CEO Christo Davel wants to build financial awareness in SA. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

22seven CEO Christo Davel wants to build financial awareness in SA. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - Money management service 22seven launched officially on Thursday, allowing full functionality to consumers to manage their money.
 
The service has been in beta testing for three months and CEO Christo Davel announced that the company had resolved difficulties with the major South African banks to facilitate customers being able to view the income and expenses.
 
Initially banks in SA warned that users could be compromised if they gave their online banking login details to third parties, but Davel said that initial fears around security were resolved.

"Despite the noise in the market about people feeling scared about sharing their login details, there were still thousands of people that used the service; gave us unbelievable feedback," Davel told News24.

The company has implemented procedures that ensure that no user information should be leaked to cyber criminals. The service also automatically logs a user out if there has been no activity in an open sessions for 20 minutes.

Viewing service

"The technical controls and operational procedures that keep information secure have been part of the design from day one. We review and update them on a regular basis and use industry experts who conduct independent assessments to check on us," the company says on its website.
 
22seven is billed as a viewing service online so that customers can view their banking details, but cannot transact at all. This should facilitate security and the company insists that no-one, not even technical staff have access to, or can view bank login details.
 
Davel conceded that there were initial problems in compatibility of the service with banking systems, but these were resolved and the product has been updated to be more user friendly than it was during its beta testing phase.

"In the last month and a half - two months - the stability's been more than acceptable."

In March, Moneyweb reported that credit demand in SA had accelerated to over 9% as a tough economic outlook forced many in the country to extend themselves.

Davel said that people have shown that they do not generally handle credit well and late in 2011, credit bureau records showed that 46.4% of the country's 18.6 million credit active consumers have impaired credit records.

"We thought that's where the gap is - we thought there is a service that people will be able to use that will be automatic... that will make you aware of what you're doing."

Aware

The company has hired credible people, including well-known South African financial expert Simon Dingle, responsible for the product, and former Microsoft architect and software architect for Standard Chartered Bank, Kenny Inggs.

The key for Davel is to make people aware of their spending and the company especially feesl that paying for the service will force users to use it often and take it seriously.

"If I become aware of how I behave; if I become aware of how I spend my money - then I will start changing my habits," Davel said.

The 22seven service offers a free trial period of 30 days after which customers will be billed R70 per month. The company insists that once a user cancels their account, all account information is deleted.


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