22seven comes out of beta PDF Print E-mail

After three months of public beta testing, 22seven is officially open, with a new look and updated features.

The personal financial management service, 22seven, which caused a stir in the local banking sector when it launched in January, is officially coming out of beta today.

The service links to users` online banking accounts and draws the information into a single “smart statement”, with detailed categorisation of spending, and mechanisms to assist in meeting savings goals.

Created by former 20twenty CEO, Christo Davel, 22seven uses a combination of gamification and behavioural science to assist users to gain a holistic picture of their financial situation and improve their ability to manage it.

Since its January launch, the service has been in public beta testing phase, and it is now officially open. Users will have 30 days` free access to 22seven; thereafter it will cost R70 per month.

22seven initially ruffled the feathers of major banks, with Absa even going so far as to block Yodlee (the financial data aggregator used by 22seven). However, after some initial apprehension, FNB became the first bank to officially support the service, allowing its customers to make use of the “read only” online banking profile option.

In a message sent to users yesterday, 22seven said it has been using the last three months to test the service “technically, practically and philosophically”.

“We`ve been fixing bugs, getting feedback from users like you, and gauging how much 22seven is helping people do more with their money. What`s been overwhelmingly clear is that the answer is: a lot.”

The new version of the service features a number of enhancements. These include a fresh design – aimed at making the site brighter and simpler. The homepage also has a “conversations” section that is open to non-users as a platform to ask questions and discuss the service. The site has “user stories”, which include testimonials from well-known tech personalities.

Another key update is a change in the way users` balances are displayed. “Banks like to show us our `available balance`. But money we can spend often isn`t our money. Once you`ve logged in, you`ll be able to see exactly how much money you have, already owe and can borrow,” says 22seven.

“22seven`s tools haven`t changed, but the way we`ve presented them has: they`re arranged in a way that helps you look at what you did, are doing and can do with your money. It`s a small, but significant, shift that helps you use your past to explore choices and changes right now, while being more mindful of how you want to use your money in the future.”

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