Unpacking EasyEquities deal with Telkom – a product that could take SA by storm

Sibusiso Ngwenya, the highly qualified head of Fintech at Telkom, explains the telecoms company’s partnership with Easy Equities. It’s a leap in the democratisation of share market investing for the bottom end of society’s pyramid. It offers the incentive of a free R50 investment when the Telkom Digital Wallet client opens their Easy account.  Given Telkom’s massive reach and the low cost of buying into equities, it’s a product with vast potential.  Ngwenya spoke to Alec Hogg of BizNews.

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Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 01:46 – Sibusiso Ngwenya’s introduction
  • 02:24 – Ngwenya on Telkom’s partnership with EasyEquities
  • 05:52 – On the TelkomPay digital wallet
  • 06:40 – On the TelkomPay user base
  • 07:49 – On the potential market for the digital wallet
  • 08:40 – On the benefits of the EasyEquities partnership
  • 11:16 – On EasyEquities offering fractioned shares to investors
  • 14:22 – On educating TelkomPay‘s customer base
  • 17:03 – On how to sign up for TelkomPay
  • 17:44 – On how to use TelkomPay
  • 19:13 – On the potential of the Telkom and EasyEquities partnership

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Excerpts from the interview

Sibusiso Ngwenya on the partnership between EasyEquities and TelkomPay

We want to be inclusive. We definitely don’t want to leave the small guy behind in the things that we do. [So] we felt that Easy Equities fit that bill for us simply because they are proven in the market at this point, I think they boast over 1.8 million users of the platform. We also find their platform to be very easy to utilise and it made sense to look to integrate it into our TelkomPay digital wallet, which is also very easy to utilise.

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It takes less than 5 minutes to get set up. [The] key things you will need to get set up [are] obviously a proof of identification, whether it be your licence card, your ID card or [an] old barcode ID [and] you’re ready to go. The other thing we will ask you to do is an action, perhaps a wave or a thumbs up [to your camera] for proof of life. Then the account is really set up in under 5 minutes. In fact, you can then proceed to load EasyEquities onto the TelkomPay digital wallet. Both processes really will take you under 10 minutes and then you are ready to invest, receive payment [and] make payment to any bank account in the country, including real time payments. So as you can see, I think that they were a good fit for us in that regard. It’s about making sure that core financial services are accessible at the tip of your mobile device.

Read more: Alec Hogg: An SA investment proposition: the phenomenon called Easy Equities

On the investment opportunities that EasyEquities and TelkomPay offer

I’ve come from banking with well over 20 years in that environment [and] I can tell you that it’s somewhat more difficult to originate an account in a traditional branch set up than it is in the comfort of your lounge or wherever you may find yourself. You just pull out your phone [and] as long as you’ve got some form of identification, you will literally be able to [create an account]. And of course, because we’ve identified you and KYC-ed (Know Your Customer Verification) on the wallet side, you will not have to go through a similar process when you link your EasyEquities account or originate [a new Easy Equities account] through the wallet.

Read more: Easy does it on US equities – despite great start to 2023, beware: this bear’s claws are still sharp

So it’s cost effective, it’s convenient and similarly you [will] find exactly the same in the EasyEquities environment of the wallet. [It’s] convenient in terms of set up, convenient in terms of the cost – I think EasyEquities [costs are] as competitive as can be in the market. And we are also going to provide R50 to any customer who originates an EasyEquities account through their TelkomPay digital wallet and that R50 can be utilised to buy any share in the market. [And] remember that another useful feature of EasyEquities is that you don’t have to buy a whole share, you can buy a fraction of a share, [so] there’s no minimums for an investor. In that sense, the R50 can really put somebody off to a good start as an investor. 

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