Savings and investment platform Cashlet should be going live in the next couple of weeks.
It is an interesting app that aims to push the savings culture among Kenyans.
We have since discussed the app here, following its approval by the Capital Markets Authority, which means it is now in a regulatory sandbox.
We had a chat with the management team at Cashlet who shed more light about the company and what the app seeks to accomplish.
The goal of the platform
Admittedly, there are big savings and investing culture issue in Kenya, among other interesting facts that underpin what why the Cashlet app has been developed.
For instance, Kenya has the lowest saving and investing rate (14%) among the top economies in East Africa (Tanzania – 36%; Uganda – 22%).
This is despite the fact that Kenya is the biggest economy and that the average Kenyan earns 2 times more income than those in the peer countries.
Besides, the latest statistics show that only 17% of Kenyan adults are financially healthy, and 8 of 10 cannot deal financially with an emergency if it happened today.
To this end, this is why the Cashlet app has been developed.
It basically seeks to be the first fully digital investment platform that will see Kenyans invest in multiple unit trusts, and in a modern way.
The problem being addressed
The firm says that want to fix the problem of simplicity, deposit and withdrawal flexibility, low minimum amounts, safety, financial literacy, and attractive returns, which is are at the core of the challenges with saving and investing in Kenya.
The mission here is also to help people invest, manage and grow their money in the simplest way possible.
Moreover, most industries in Kenya have been transformed by the power of technology and mobile apps. However, the personal finance industry, including savings and investing space, has been left behind and Cashlet is, therefore, looking forward to changing this alongside its partners.
An investment platform for all
The app is targeting all Kenyans by building a modern way to save and grow money and Cashlet does make an extra effort to share its financial health mission with younger people and to get them to sign up because only about 20% of people aged 35 year or younger in the country are currently financially healthy.
Cashlet is owned by Sycamore Capital Kenya Limited, a local fintech that is incorporated in Kenya and was recently admitted into the CMA Sandbox program to launch the Cashlet app.
The team behind the Cashlet app comes from diverse backgrounds but with deep local and international expertise in technology, from companies such as Andela, and Microsoft, as well as financial services such as Goldman Sachs, ABSA and I&M Bank.
Saving and investing in unit trust and other investment products falls under the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) docket. They are industry regulators and have been really supportive of the innovation Cashlet is attempting to bring to the market through their regulatory sandbox program for Fintechs.
Cashlet partner fund managers who provide the unit trust funds on our platform (such as ICEA Lion Asset Management) are also licensed and regulated by the CMA.
Launch: Feb 20, 2022 and expansion
The beta version of the app will be available on Google Play Store by the 20th Feb, 2022.
The iOS version, however, will be released in Q2 2022. Its on a first come first saving basis so expected customers are encouraged to download and use the app to sign up to join the waitlist the Cashlet website. You can do so here for early access.
Currently, Cashlet says it is solely focused on delivering a fantastic product and investing experience for local Kenya market, hence it does not have plans of going outside Kenya.
Cashlet adds that it takes data privacy and security very seriously. It stresses its privacy and security standards to guard against identity theft and provide security for personal information. The app regularly re-evaluates its privacy and security policies and adapt them as necessary to deal with new challenges.
Here are some of the measures it has put in place:
- Every user has has 4 digit unique passcode that he/she sets up when creating an Cashlet account. It is used to secure an account, and this is what a customer will use for logging into their account, and initiating transfers and withdrawals on your Cashlet account. Instead of using the 4-digit passcode, you can also choose to secure your passcode using your fingerprint.
- Where Cashlet has received your information, it uses strict procedures and security features to prevent unauthorized access. Information deemed sensitive is stored using a symmetric encryption (AES)+. The apps is also bound and empowered by the Kenya Data Protection Bill to keep user information safe.
With other investment platforms out there, how is Cashlet different?
Cashlet says it doesn’t see other Fintech/peronal finance apps as competitors. It prefers to collaborate and encourage people to use any of these other services as possible. At the end of the day, all these platforms are focused on a singular mission of helping Kenyans to live financial healthy lives and achieve their financial goals.
According to Cashelt, that is what matters and it doesn’t take its eyes off that ball.
Nevertheless, here some reasons why Cashlet is unique:
- Safe and confidential – All investment products on the Cashlet are provided by licensed fund mangers that are regulated by the Capital Markets Authority. Your info is also protected by secured passcode and bank grade encryptions.
- Modern – It is fully digital. Absolutely no paper work, branch visits, meet ups with an advisor…none of that. It is all self directly and you do things are your own pace.
- Convenient – Start with only KSH 50. Deposits can be done via M-PESA on the app almost immediately.
- Easy of access – You can withdraw at anytime in 3 simple steps and get your money back within 1-2 working days. This comes in handy during emergencies.
- Attractive interest rates: You earn interest on your funds by investing in unit trust funds in Kenya.
Current and future goals
Cashlet’s initial goals for 2022 is to launch the app on both Android and iOS, to get significant feedback from users and improve the app to make it the best that it can be.
On the long-term, Cashlet wants to build up the app to help users handle the full spectrum of personal finance challenges. This will involve additional products such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, to mention a few.
The Cashlet team says it is embarking on an exciting journey. It is building features that will ensure that the product is not “just another financial app” but a one-stop shop for users to manage, invest, and grow their money minus all the complication.
Its mission is to support the next 5 million Kenyans to become financially healthy.