Standard Bank’s Shyft has won the Everest Wealth Best Financial Solution for 2021. This locally designed app simplifies the experience of buying and selling foreign exchange and international shares and allows the sending of money offshore as well as paying for goods and services in foreign currency, while travelling or online. Their win was announced Thursday night at the annual MTN Business App of the Year Awards, which took place virtually for the second year running. These awards, now in their tenth year and with the biggest prize money offered to date, celebrate the very best of South Africa’s app development talent.
“The app was developed primarily to serve ordinary people across Africa by providing them with simple and easy access to foreign exchange, international investing, cross border payments and instore and online transacting. Our goal is to make the app accessible to anyone with a Smart Phone and our vision is to be the app that connects people to the world from a financial perspective,” says Arno von Helden, Co-founder and Head of Shyft at Standard Bank.
“Winning the MTN Business App of the Year Award, is an acknowledgement from the industry of our ability to remain innovative and disruptive in a highly competitive market. It is a recognition of our strategy to be both a client centric organization and a platform led business that can compete at the highest levels of what financial services and fintech has to offer globally,” he says.
Shyft, designed to save customers time and money with great rates, fast settlement and 24/7 availability, is one of 14 app winners announced across different categories.
This year saw an unparalleled 1 274 entries into these awards, with the category of Best Financial Solution once again attracting many submissions. This entry for best locally developed solution within the financial sector surpassed all other submissions and walked away with R 50 000 in prize money from MTN Business.
“The Shyft team are an incredibly motivated and passionate bunch of individuals who get the vision and believe in what we stand for. This accolade is a validation of the hard work and commitment of a team that spans multiple businesses across multiple cities and countries. It’s a very humbling and proud moment for all of us,” von Helden says.
Category sponsor, Everest Wealth, is a private investment and wealth management company, established in 2002, specialises in building, maintaining, and protecting the wealth of trusts, companies, and individuals under their care.
“Everest Wealth is proud to sponsor the Best Financial Solution category at the MTN Business App Awards, especially in a year that has seen our world become increasingly digitised and more connected than ever before,” says Jared Gillmer, CEO at Everest Wealth. “As a portfolio Investment and Wealth Manager, we value finding our clients a path to a brighter financial future, something aligned to why Shyft was developed. We recognise the journey taken to develop this app and wish them every success as they take this endeavour forward,” Gillmer says.
Another highlight from the night was the awarding of the overall MTN Business App of the Year to Ambani Africa, with founder Mukundi Lambani walking away with R 1 million in prize money.
The MTN Business App of the Year Awards play a vital role in elevating local entrepreneurs and showcasing exciting new innovations within the ICT industry in South Africa, particularly relevant given the fast-tracking of digitalisation seen over the last 18 months due to the pandemic.
Despite enormous changes and disruptions to life and work as we know it, local talent and out-of-the-box thinking has continued to thrive and enabled new technology start-ups to continue to build innovative applications.
In terms of future plans for Shyft, von Helden says that their current focus is to scale through customer acquisition and growing their user base within South Africa as well as to deploy Shyft into Africa, starting with Botswana by the end of the year. “In addition, we are looking at expanding our features including adding additional US based instruments as well as local shares and potentially other types of investment offerings. We also will remain focused on regular improvements in design and functionality to ensure we deliver the best possible user experience,” he says.