Sterling Bank Plc, in collaboration with Parthian Partners, launched a new mobile banking application known as I-invest in 2018 in a bid to encourage investors to build a savings and investment culture. The application, which is supported on android and IOS devices, provides customers with a secure, fast, and convenient way to access investment opportunities hitherto reserved for the elite. The application also provides customers access to an array of Treasury Bill investments, equities, and Eurobonds. In this interview, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Parthian Partners, OLUSEYE OLUSOGA, says investors can leverage the I-invest App to invest in equities, enjoy good dividends, and build wealth over time, among others. Excerpts:
I- invest has been around for about two years now, can you tell us what’s new about the app that was launched as an innovation in its category? Or it is the same old solution?
The App has come a long way since it was launched two years ago. We now have a variety of investment products, including Eurobonds and equities, which are the most recently added product offerings.
Why equities investment? Are there opportunities in the equities market for retail investors?
Yes, there are some stocks that pay good dividends, whilst others are expected to appreciate in value over time. Equity investments can serve as a great way to aggregate capital and build wealth.
How much control does the I-invest platform give to the investor in terms of direct control over his portfolio viza-viz brokers and CSCS?
I- invest connects customers directly with the exchange. Therefore, they can place orders to buy and sell at any time of the day without any human interaction. Orders will be processed automatically on the exchange as soon as trading begins – markets are open on business days between 10.00 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. All equities are held with CSCS.
After two years, can you say that new and experienced investors at home and in the diaspora have embraced Iinvest?
Yes, given the volume that has gone through the app we believe investors to a large extent have embraced the app.
Are there memorable learning curves and/or milestones these past two years?
Yes, crossing the N10 billion turnover point was a big highlight. Also, managing different stakeholders was a steep learning curve.
Given the upsurge in phishing scams, wire frauds, identity theft and business email compromise, what is I-invest doing to give comfort to its customers?
We have enhanced security around client interface infrastructure and we will continuously enhance client safety on our platform.
Tell us about your partnership with Sterling Bank?
Sterling Bank has been a strong enabler in bringing the product to life.
Besides Sterling Bank, can customers of other banks use the I-invest app?
Yes, of course. It is not for Sterling Bank customers alone. It is for all investors with BVN. So, your bank does not matter if you wish to invest via the I-invest app.
Is I-invest hindered by regulation from extending its footprints beyond Nigeria? Why opt to be a Nigerian Fintech when I-invest can be a Fintech of Nigerian origin to the world?
It is not hindered by regulation. Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people who are driven and aspirational. As Nigerians, we have a duty to enrich the lives of our fellow country people before looking outward.