• Nedgroup Investments Media Release

Local online investment platform scoops international tech award

Nedgroup Investments automated online investing platform has won the Banker Technology project of the year in the Banker Tech projects Awards 2018, backed by Financial Times.

Nic Andrew, Head of Investments at Nedgroup Investments says: “The Banker Tech Projects Awards recognise the best innovation in financial technology from around the world so we believe that this is an extraordinary achievement for all of us.”

Donna Barnes, Product Owner at Nedgroup Investments says the platform was designed to ‘to just make investing easier in South Africa’ by addressing the issue that many South Africans do not know how or where to save appropriately. Furthermore, Barnes says many people are often intimidated by the traditional investment process which acts as a barrier to starting a savings regime.

The Extraordinary Life platform is one of the first end-to-end digital journeys in the South African market that enables a customer to be able to receive an investment recommendation, detail on the tax savings and returns, on-board himself, invest and see his holdings without submitting any paper in less than 10 minutes. This also includes digitally setting up retirement plans – a South Africa first.

“Extraordinary Life is a digital, automated savings platform that provides clients with confidence about their future investment success. We wanted to offer the emerging middle and middle to upper class individual, which has historically been underserved with advice in South Africa, a cutting-edge investment user experience with low fees and high transparency,” says Barnes.

Keeping costs low

There are no administrative or advice fees and costs are kept especially low by making use of passive investments. Unlike most robo-advice platforms, it doesn’t only take into account investment advice but also tax optimisation to allow people across the wealth spectrum in South Africa to maximise their savings and investments.

The platform was created via collaboration between technical experts from South Africa, India, Czech Republic and United Kingdom and integrates artificial intelligence, chatbot, investment algorithms, web and API development.

How does it work?

  • Extraordinary Life utilises an intelligent chatbot front end that collects information from the customers in a convenient and conversational way, which helps with trust and simplicity.

  • It calculates amounts needed for particular goals such as retirement and education, cleverly making use of a cloud-based algorithm that guesses the age of humans based on facial recognition and Google APIs to pinpoint education institutions and their corresponding fees respectively to enrich the engagement

  • It enables hyper-personalisation that works not only on investment but also tax recommendation algorithms, which allow customers with various needs to invest in the right portfolio at various stages of their life, using intelligent automation.

  • It has advanced investment algorithms, built using in-house stochastic models from our asset management team (with 1 000 000 data points over 1 000 future scenarios) integrated into a recommendations matrix as opposed to deterministic models used in an average robo-advisor.

Not only do end users have a completely frictionless digital experience when investing, they also have access to a qualified financial advisor at no cost to review the platform’s investment recommendations. This hybrid digital experience aims to fulfil the need for assurance that people have when investing without the usual advice cost.


For more information about the Extraordinary Life platform – including the more technical background, please contact Taryn McKenna on 082 880 3570 or tarynmc@nedgroupinvestments.co.za.

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