CMA testing unit trust mobile app

A company has developed a mobile application, Cashlet App, for retail investors seeking to buy a diversified package of stocks and fixed-income investments like government debt paper.

Currently, such investment services called unit trusts are being offered by fund managers but Sycamore Capital Limited wants to link them to a mobile platform that makes it easier to sign up customers, invest and exit.

Unit trusts allow retail traders to make as little as Sh,5000 investments in collective investment schemes, which currently boast more than Sh100 billion in assets under management.

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has admitted Sycamore Capital to test the Cashlet App in its sandbox for six months.

The admission of Sycamore Capital to the CMA Regulatory Sandbox raises the number of participants in the live test environment to 13.

“The Cashlet App if successfully tested and rolled out in the open market, will play an important role in driving investor participation in the capital markets through collective investment schemes (CIS),” CMA chief executive Wyckliffe Shamiah noted.

“It could contribute, in a way, to the growth of assets under CIS management over the current value of Sh100 billion.”

Mr Shamiah said the Cashlet App would provide a convenient and affordable opportunity for small investors to have access to professionally managed and diversified portfolios of assets.

Traditional capital market products like buying stocks from brokers, fixed income and government securities are being disrupted by new models of onboarding clients and managing the investments.

Businesses targeting the youth are introducing simpler ways to attract investors through mobile platforms and simplifying capital markets products as well as how they are bought and sold.

For instance Koa, a mobile savings venture is giving Kenyans with as little as Sh1,000 access to fund managers for a 10 percent return.

Egyptian brokerage firm EFG Hermes launched a mobile application ‘EFG Hermes One’ targeting retail investors interested in buying equities on their mobile phones.

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