South Africa's financial ecosystem is one of the most sophisticated in the world. With a variety of institutions and products available, it can be complicating sifting through them looking for a simple solution to your problem.
For the most part, however, finance is boring. Fortunately, with the recent disruption of traditional offerings, new platforms are popping up that look to bring fun into finance and are much more approachable for the user.
This list looks at seven top South African products disrupting the traditional way of doing finance:
1. 22seven is an app that allows you to have a snapshot of all of your accounts at once. You can link banking, saving and investment accounts to the app to give you an easy-to-view dashboard of your finances. It's visually appealing, user friendly and downloadable on both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store.
2. A local email newsletter called Digest helps readers stay on top of the world of finance and economics in SA. What we like about this one is how approachable it makes otherwise complex subject matter. From casual, understandable language to its use of GIFs and emojis to keep things light - it's worth checking out. Sign-up is free and they only send one short email each weekday morning - a great addition to breakfast.
3. Looking for more practical advice about managing your money? Manage Your Money Like A F*cking Grown-Up is a recently launched book that looks to demystify some of the biggest financial decisions we make. The casual tone and conversational language makes this one an easy read. You can buy it online or in bookstores nationwide. They also have a Facebook group that provides great tips and advice.
4. You may not realise that the product you're using to save for your holiday or education doesn't actually give you the best interest rate. Mytreasury is a comparison site for savings products. By providing information on your planned savings, they help you understand how to maximise your interest earnings and even request product providers to contact you.
5. Looking for more complex investment products? EasyEquities offers a platform for investing in the stock market. It hosts both individual stocks and funds that you can invest into. You can even open a tax-free investment account here. They have a range of educational content as well to help you with your investment journey, but they also have a focus on keeping things light-hearted and fun.
6. Avoiding once-off expenses is key to avoiding financial woes. Mobile phones and laptops are often not insured despite their high-risk of damage or theft. Insurance can help protect you against a stressful loss. Local startup, Pineapple, makes insuring fun with their image recognition tech to insure your belongings and only takes a couple of minutes end-to-end. Their app is available for iPhone or Android.
7. For the brave out there, Luno is a local favourite when it comes to trading and investing in cryptocurrencies. With it's simple user interface and bank of educational content, it makes it easy for the first time buyer to start testing the waters. It has successfully expanded into various other countries - proving it's user friendliness.
With an increased focus on fintech, it's going to be interesting to see what 2019 brings.
* Dhanyal Davidson CA(SA) is a local cofounder within the fintech arena and is part of the RMB AlphaCode program.