Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

INSURER Old Mutual said on Monday that its acquisition of online platform 22seven would help its customers manage their money better and enhance its digital strategy.

The 22seven platform helps customers sort and group their financial transactions in a way that shows where their money is spent and how they can use it more efficiently. To access the service, customers have to link their bank accounts to the 22seven platform.

"Old Mutual’s aim, in all of its customer interactions, is to help them make the most of their money so that they can achieve what they need in life," said Old Mutual group strategic marketing director Carlton Hood. "This is a great tool to help that. Increasingly, our customers want to be multichannel. They want to speak to someone face to face when they need support, and they want to be able to interact over the web to do their own research and planning."

As a financial services company, Old Mutual sells insurance, investments, loans and medical products, and 22seven could be a handy tool for its clients.

"Old Mutual is excited about the acquisition," said Mr Hood. "22seven brings energy, innovation and world-class capability to our global digital strategy, and has already helped so many people change the way they think about money."

Old Mutual did not disclose how much it had paid for the digital platform. Asked why it decided on an acquisition instead of developing its own application, Mr Hood said: "The question is not whether it would it have been cheaper, but whether we would we have done it as well. 22seven combines elements of behavioural science, technology and play, making it more engaging for its customers to look at their money and make better financial decisions."

He said the 22seven team, led by founder and CEO Christo Davel, would remain at the helm.

Old Mutual said it wanted to add to the online platform by enabling it to help customers with aspects of home loans and long-term investments. The insurer is also looking at applying 22seven in other countries in which it operates.

"We’re fired up about where we can now take 22seven, and I don’t just mean geographically," Mr Davel said in a statement. "We’ve always had big plans for our service, and what we think it’s capable of doing. With Old Mutual’s support, the evolution and enhancement will happen much faster."