So there’s been a bit of an explosion on the social media lately as everyone applauds or laments this new money management platform: 22seven. Its awesomely funded launch has seen a huge buzz rise up from all the who’s who of the South African social media world.
It offers a great platform: Manage your money with budgets and tracking devices that helps you see what is going where and how and why. All the finicky things about finance that we don’t want to think about. I say YAY. Someone else can worry about numbers and stats, and tell us a personal summary so we can keep lounging around eating sushi/bon-bons/cupcakes or vetkoek (in our underwear… depending on who you are).
But what’s the catch?
The obvious controversy is that 22seven has to link to your bank and all of your account details in order to track every time you swipe a card or make a payment. The banks have all been pretty clear that you violate their terms of insurance and protection if you give your details to a platform like 22seven and will therefore you will be covered nothing… NADA if you get phished online. You become liable. Unlike our grandpas who wanted fish on their lines in the sea. The 2012 web is not the sea. It’s a place where the phish bite back. Im not saying that 22seven is a scam, or that they will even try to hack your details. But now all the hackers and darkest parts of Nigeria’s lottery-email spam factories have caught wind of this information. Do you really want to jeapordise your security? I panic the second I get tweeted a link…in case it’s a hack or spam attempt. Am I really going to put all my banking details onto a site that can access everything? I don’t even allow apps access to my Facebook info… No.
Now that we are all interested and keen on the idea of an online money management platform. But hesitant about the implications, how about I remind you about a service that I blogged about a couple months ago: moneysmart.
Moneysmart is more established. And has all of the security of an FBI special agent. I know this because I was in their offices before they launched. Now I can’t speak for 22seven, and I’m sure they have good ideas and intentions too. I’m not going to be one of those fake bloggers who pretends to be completely objective. I will never advocate something I don’t believe in. So all i know is that when I saw all this buzz on 22seven I thought to myself… moneysmart IS secure. They DON’T ask for your secret details. So i wanted to tell you. moneysmart opted NOT to go for the “give us all your banking details and pin numbers” approach. Why? Because they didn’t WANT the client to be forced to jeopardise their security agreements with the bank. Yes the banks are all being sticky with 22seven… AND with moneysmart, and they could honestly make some adaptions and make life easier for these external platforms to help us better. But until they suck it up – the fact remains: moneysmart is the only financial platform in dialogue with SA’s top 5 financial institutes. read more here.
The implications are that moneysmart is slightly less user friendly in terms of ‘bells whistles and flash-plugins’ and you have to manually upload your bank CSV forms yourself (a rather tedious process initially, but it’s better than giving your pin and info over to the internet gods. In my opinion.) Here’s a column I wrote about HOW to upload your CSV. This way you have complete financial control of the information on this site. Which is what they aim at “Shift control” is their slogan. They don’t appear to have as big a marketing budget so the hype about them is less evident. But all I’m saying is: if you’re considering the responsible money approach. Know your options.
Control your decisions.