Personal financial management service 22seven is ditching its monthly subscription fee. Effective 1 September, the company, which was acquired by Old Mutual in January 2013, is offering its services completely free of charge, CEO Christo Davel said in an e-mail to clients.
The move comes a year after 22seven chopped its R60/month fee by more than half, to R25/month, while adding the ability to track investments, loans, unit trust and other financial information.
At the time, Davel told TechCentral that having Old Mutual behind 22seven meant it could start taking long-term views.
“The long-term value we can generate from people really engaging with the firm is better than making money upfront from subscription fees,” he said.
Davel is also putting a positive spin on the decision to make 22seven’s services free of charge.
“We’re doing this because we have great plans,” he said in the e-mail to customers.
“Right now, 22seven helps you look at your money differently. We believe it does that very well, and we know from our customers that it has already helped a lot of people in a lot of ways. But we also know that it can go much further and do much more,” he said.
“So, in future there’ll be new features and capabilities. Through them, you’ll be able to act on the insight that 22seven gives you and save money in tangible ways. It won’t be the same-old, same-old stuff you’ve seen elsewhere: we want to help our customers in game-changing ways. If we succeed — and only if we succeed — then this is how we will make our money.”
He added that 22seven is “only 25% complete” and that the current product is only “one part of our very big vision”.
“Going free is a step closer to it,” he said in the e-mail.
Davel said the plan had been to make the service free ever since the Old Mutual acquisition. “We’ve always wanted to make our service as accessible as possible, to as many as possible.”
He said 22seven charged the subscription fee in the early days because, as a start-up, that’s how it made money.
The company said it will not sell its users’ personal information to make money. “We have always said that respecting our customers’ privacy and security is paramount, and that has not changed, nor will it change. If we betray that trust, we don’t deserve to be in business.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media