Africa’s first ever investment app I-invest
Africa’s first-ever investment mobile application (app) which allows users to purchase Treasury Bills (T-Bills) directly from their smartphones has recorded a combined figure of more than 70,000 downloads on Apple App Store and Google Play Store in less than 10 months of its entry into the market.
The app, known as i-Invest, was swiftly embraced by investors who had been yearning for a fast and convenient means to access investment products in a secure manner using technology. The fast pace of innovation in the FinTech space is indeed helping to make life easy for the customer. Today, millions of customers are able to perform most of their banking transactions from the comfort of their homes.
A 36 years old teacher, Mr. Remi Oduntan, who could not hide his excitement at the discovery of the i-invest app last month said, “I have been conducting most, if not all, of my banking transactions through the app that I downloaded on my android phone many years ago. The only reason why I still visit the banking hall occasionally is in respect of my investments in treasury bills.
“You can, therefore, imagine my surprise upon learning that I can also engage in my favourite form of investment in treasury bills from the convenience of my home or from anywhere else as soon as the app is downloaded on my smartphone. So, with the i-invest app, I guess visits to the banking hall by me will now be nearly non-existent except for the purpose of renewing debit cards.”
The i-invest app which is supported on both Android and iOS platforms aims to encourage users to build a savings and investment culture. It provides access to an array of T-bill investments that assists investors to match their investment maturities to their need.
Developed by Parthian Partners, a pan-African inter-brokerage services firm, in partnership with Sterling Bank Plc, the i-invest app provides a level playing ground for investors regardless of status or category. So, equal opportunities exist for working-class or retiring people and pensioners as well as experienced and institutional investors to save money and improve their money market portfolios through T-bills.
In addition to the low risk profile of Treasury bill investments, the capacity of the i-invest app to bring such opportunity to the mobile devices of everyone who is interested in it makes it quite attractive to potential investors. It also eliminates the entry barriers posed by exorbitant minimum investment amounts typically in millions which existed before the introduction of the platform. With the i-invest app, anyone with a minimum of a N100,000 is free to invest in T-bills.
How i-invest works
Once the i-invest app is downloaded for free, the first step is to register using a valid identification number, BVN and a valid phone number. The app is available to every Nigerian that has a BVN number as well as a smart mobile device.
Remarkably, the i-invest app enjoys support at the highest levels and is currently under the purview of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In addition, all securities purchased on the platform is held in safe custody by a licensed securities custodian which in effect protects investments made by clients. Users are also able to know the exact state of affairs with their investments at all times. All that is needed is for the user to log in and view the details. The app interface is certainly user-friendly and self-explanatory.
The rush to embrace the i-invest app is a clear indication of its value to technology conscious Nigerians, especially busy executives who may not be able to spare the time needed to go to a bank and fill forms in order to invest in T-bills. The speedy adoption of the i-invest app by Nigerians benefits immensely from the earlier adoption of mobile banking apps for handling funds transfer, airtime top-up, payment of utility bills and a host of related features, some of which runs into Billions of naira.