Through its 22seven service, a free budgeting and investment tool that helps you manage your money better, Old Mutual takes pleasure in providing you the power to master your money. Rateweb is in the business of reviewing as many financial products as possible in order to assist you in selecting the best goods for yourself. With so many individuals now having several financial accounts, having a single platform that allows you to view all of your transactions in one spot will be really useful.
22seven does exactly that. You may connect your bank accounts, investments, loans, and credit and retail cards to understand how your money is performing for you (or not). All of your financial information in one location sounds convenient, but what are the risks? The adage “if you’re not paying for a product, you’re the product” has grown popular in discussions over data privacy. Is this the case with 22seven? This in-depth evaluation will tell you whether you should sign up for a 22seven account.
How to get started with 22seven?
It is simple to sign up. All you have to do is enter your email address and establish a password, and you’re good to go. After you join up, you will be prompted to link your bank account. By linking your bank account, 22seven can automatically update your transactions. When you link your bank account, you must input the login information for your online banking profile. This makes you shudder, right?
The thought of disclosing your online banking login information to a third party, especially when your bank regularly advises you not to — more on that later. You can manually add your accounts to the app if you do not want to link your bank account but still want to use 22seven to manage your funds. The simplest method is to upload your bank statements, and 22seven will automatically create a new account for each each uploaded statement.
Alternatively, you can create a new account and modify its details such as its name, category, and value. You can manually add new transactions to accounts that are not linked to 22seven to keep track of your spending. This function is also useful if you wish to add accounts that are not tied to 22seven. You can, for example, set up an account for your cash on hand or for the stokvel or lending club that you’ve joined. When you owe or lend money to someone, you can set up an account to track it with the rest of your money.
What are the features of the 22seven app?
After setting up your account, 22seven automatically aggregates your financial data and gives you a bird’s view of your financial status. In the default accounts view, the app shows your account balance, how much you have left to spend, and your net worth. There is also an expanded view option that shows all the accounts you have added. You can also add filters to show only the categories you are interested in.
A Personalised Budget made for you.
What is a budgeting app without a budgeting feature? After aggregating your transactions, 22seven personalises a budget for you based on your spending. Your transactions are automatically allocated to categories that you can edit to your liking. The app uses your average monthly spend in each of your categories to set a budget amount for that month. However, you can also override the default budget amount to set a custom amount.
In the budget view, you will be able to see your budgeted amount for the month, how much you have spent, and how much you still have left to spend. Another useful feature is future budgeting, whereby you plan for upcoming transactions that you may be expecting.
Receive Spending Alerts to keep you within budget.
With 22seven, you can receive spending alerts that notify you when you have spent a certain proportion of the budgeted amount on each of your spending categories. You can set push notifications on the Android and iOS versions of the app, and web notifications on the web app. Spending alerts help users not to overspend and control how much they have left to spend to stay within budget.
Nudges – smart suggestions for smarter spending.
One aspect that 22seven excels at is giving useful insights into users’ financial habits. 22seven uses its Nudges feature to offer suggestions and insights that encourage good spending behaviour. Users receive helpful suggestions on which negative financial behaviours they can try to limit. The feature also highlights positive behaviour, encouraging you to keep up with good habits. Such insights give you a different perspective on spending and making financial decisions.
Monthly Budget Reports.
The report feature compiles a monthly report that gives an overview of your financial activity during the previous budget month. The report is packed with visualisations and key insights such as the relationship between income and expenditure, the proportion of savings versus income, and ranks your top merchants by spending as well as other key insights.
22seven Business – for solopreneurs and small business owners.
The recently launched 22seven Business offering is geared towards freelancers and small business owners to offer a free digital businesses management tool that simplifies financial management. With a business profile, you can link your business accounts to view all the financial information of your
business in one dashboard. If you use your personal accounts for business purposes, you can filter out transactions that are not business related.
With 22seven Business, business owners can easily create and send professional quotes and invoices from the 22seven app. The feature simplifies invoice management, as you can link the invoices to the respective client accounts within 22seven.
Additionally, 22seven partnered with Lulalend to offer small businesses cash advances on their invoices. Lulalend is a fintech company that runs an online lending platform where small businesses can apply for funding. If your business qualifies for a loan, you can get funded within 24 hours and repay the advance at a later date.
Security is an important area of contention that should not be overlooked when discussing digital products. As mentioned earlier, you may have to link your bank accounts and other financial accounts through your online banking profile to benefit from the convenience of automatic account updates.
The thought of providing your online banking login details to a third-party website may make some individuals uncomfortable – and with good reason. For security reasons, banks encourage account holders not to share their online banking details with anyone, including third-party websites.
Taking this into account, 22seven built its platform with an emphasis on security and privacy. 22seven uses the services of an international data security and data aggregator company called Yodley to collect and update user data from their banking websites. Yodley collects read-only data, meaning the data cannot be used to transact or make changes to your bank account. Additionally, the data is encrypted and anonymised using high-level security standards that are used by global financial institutions to protect user privacy. Anonymised data ensures no information can be linked to any user’s identity in the event of a data breach.
22seven implements additional security layers in the form of independent security audits that are conducted by external data security companies. 22seven is also insured to cover users in the event of a security breach.
Verdict on 22seven.
Budgeting is one of the most rewarding financial tools you can use for yourself and your business in the bid to gain financial freedom. There are alternative approaches to budgeting, ranging from the traditional pen and paper budgets to spreadsheets and a host of other budgeting apps such as PocketGuard, Mint, YNAB etc.
Some individuals benefit from the mental process of manually writing out a budget on paper to help them maintain financial discipline throughout their budget month. However, the traditional pen and paper budget does not work for other individuals because it is generally harder to keep track of all your previous budgets. Budgeting apps like 22seven make it easier to track your spending over a long period. Unlike traditional paper-based budgets or spreadsheets, you get spending alerts, nudges, insights, and reports. Your budget lives on the cloud, meaning you can access it anywhere – anytime via the web or on mobile. As a plus, budgeting apps have advanced features to visualise your financial data and other advanced tools to help you make better financial decisions.