Article by Satrix Investments

EasyEquities and Satrix were once again thrilled to receive the overall award for Best African FinTech Company 2017 at the Finance Indaba Africa in Johannesburg last week.

The award was shared with ThisIsMe, an identity verification and due diligence platform. The African FinTech Awards is part of Finance Indaba Africa, the largest conference and expo for finance professionals on the continent.

At the event the EasyEquities/Satrix combined entry also scooped the honours in the InvestTech category for the second year running. The runners-up in the category were global property-trading platform Wealth Migrate and multi-counter stock exchange, ZAR X.

The EasyEquities and SatrixNOW investing platforms are ground-breaking as it makes it possible for investors to buy fractions of shares at a low cost and with an exceptionally easy interface. The relationship between EasyEquities and Satrix, the largest equity index tracking provider in South Africa, makes it possible for investors to employ the same innovative technology driving the EasyEquities platform to also access Satrix exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Historically, individuals wanting to invest in an ETF often needed prohibitive sums of money and a stock broking account. To overcome these hurdles, Satrix launched the Satrix Investment Plan in 2006, enabling thousands of South Africans to access ETFs for as little as R300 per month. Looking for a solution that scraps the minimum investment amount requirement was the natural next step.

EasyEquities had that solution. By offering fractional shares – which includes ETFs – no matter how small the amount an investor has, they can invest. With its bespoke technology, passionate team and service ethic, it is no wonder the company is stringing in the awards year after year. Both platforms have also seen enormous growth in clients and assets over the year and EasyEquities has extended its offering to include offshore shares too.

Charles Savage, CEO of EasyEquities, was elated to receive the overall award for Best African Fintech Company 2017. “Thanks to my team for never fearing to fail to innovate. I give them one idea and they turn it into a 100, and make a success of all of them. I look forward to collaborating with all of you in the future. We want to democratise stock trading and expose innovation in Africa. The continent has a big role to play in FinTech.”

Says Helena Conradie, CEO of Satrix, “We believe in partnering with the people who have the same ethos around investing that we do. That’s why we encouraged Sanlam, our holding company, to buy a stake in EasyEquites. Satrix has always been about democratising investing and making it more accessible so EasyEquities was an obvious partner in setting up our fintech platform SatrixNOW.” Sanlam secured a 30% stake in EasyEquities for R100 million in August to further strengthen its relationship with the fintech leader.

For the African FinTech Awards 2017, more than 12 000 fintech enthusiasts from all over the world have voted for their favourite African fintech company. In addition, a panel of expert judges – experienced fintech investors and innovation leaders of Africa’s top banks – assessed the wide selection of promising African FinTech companies. Public votes and the panel of judges determine the African FinTech 100 companies who will compete in bespoke categories as well as for the overall winner – Best African Fintech company.

The judges consider various aspects of the fintech companies reviewed. Does it have the power to change the industry? Does the company satisfy a real customer need and how are customers engaged? Is it still signing up new customers and can it retain them? And what is the relationship between cost and benefits and the impact on the environment and society as a whole?

Companies from other continents are also allowed to submit entries, but it’s important that they operate mainly in Africa. The focus of the African FinTech Awards is undoubtedly African. The main purpose of the African FinTech Awards is to celebrate innovators that shape the future of finance in Africa and to acknowledge the work these companies do to make a difference.

 Says Savage, “Satrix and EasyEquities have the same end-goal in mind – making the stock market accessible to all. Our journey with Satrix, and the broader Sanlam Group, is proof that collaboration works when there is a shared vision.”


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