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Absa launches online self-service investment platform

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Absa is pleased to announce the launch of its very own online investment platform, Virtual Investor, which harnesses technology to lower fees to investors.
This is an online self-service investment platform that uses artificial intelligence and computer algorithms to recommend a product for customers based on their financial attitudes to risk.
Virtual Investor provides automated online investment recommendation, and structures each customer’s portfolio against associated known product sets based on their investment risk appetite, utilising technology rather than active human interaction. The first phase of the Virtual Investor will offer customers access to a pre-selected range of Absa’s Unit Trusts, with more investment products, like Retirement Annuities, expected to follow soon.
Armien Tyer, head of Absa Investments, notes: “The Virtual Investor’s low minimum deposit requirements mean that more people are able to invest and grow their wealth. Individuals can either invest a once-off lump sum amount or through a debit order from as little as R200 a month. Everything, including the whole application process, is done online.
“The easy-to-use interface (accessible from any device) and low investment fees further reduce the barriers to entry that often accompany investment services, and because selection is at the customer’s discretion and pace, they can make choices in line with their affordability,” he adds.
Catering to the dynamic and varying life stages and moments that our customers find themselves in, the service means that even customers who are already comfortable with investing and do not require much guidance can use the direct channel to take full control of their investment portfolio and access investment products that suit their risk profile. Customers can also still make use of financial advisors for more guidance and assistance with the more complex decisions around investing.
Virtual Investor options have been introduced globally as a self-service, online digital infrastructure with automated, low-fee investment platforms offering asset allocation and portfolio balancing, based on easy and customer-friendly risk assessment questions.
Tyer concludes: “Our significant focus and efforts towards becoming a more customer-led business that is driven by customer insights and digital enablement means that we are always working on new services, capabilities and enhancements which will be introduced to the existing Absa digital landscape in order to improve our customer experience in the investment space. We want to make it easy for customers to transact with us and to access the products and services from us that they have come to know and trust.”