Have you ever wanted to be a real life adult and decided you were going to put yourself on a “budget”? Or tried to save up for something you really wanted but somehow “life” got in the way and got you distracted? Let’s be honest, saving isn’t easy, but in this economy it’s even harder. Thankfully there’s an app for that, literally. Our recent interview with the vibrant Founder of REACH, Jr Kanu shed some more light on how you can easily save for your next big ticket item like your rent!
Jumia House Nigeria: Can you tell us a little about REACH?
Jr Kanu: REACH (www.findreach.com) is an app that helps individuals and people in groups to set, track, and achieve their financial goals. We focus on helping people save up for their big life moments.
We’ve been in beta for about 2.5 months, but we’re already seeing some exciting patterns. Sixteen percent of our members are using it to save for housing. Another 16 percent are saving up for vacations – local and international. Eleven percent are saving up for professional development courses and education. We’ve got others saving for weddings, cars, and home appliances. So you can see there’s a variety of uses for the app.
JHN: How did the idea for REACH come about?
Jr Kanu: The idea for REACH came from personal experience, but validated by interviewing random people around Lagos. I’d seen family, friends and coworkers struggle with planning and budgeting. Some people were unable to achieve longstanding dreams because they were often strapped for cash when they most needed it. I on the other hand have been blessed with a natural disposition toward saving and planning. On the day I started my last job, I knew I wanted to have saved enough to start my own company in 18 months. And 18 months later, I had. Anyway, during those random Lagos interviews, I learned that I’m a little strange. Saving and planning doesn’t come naturally to everyone the way it does to me. In fact, some of the people I interviewed even asked me to tell them when my money management ideas became a product they could use.
JHN: How does REACH help people save for big ticket items like a house or a car?
Jr Kanu:Let me answer that by telling you how one REACH user actually saved up for his rent this year. He downloaded the app and created a goal called “Housing”. The goal was to save at least 250K by mid September. He chose to be debited weekly and that was it. Fast-forward about eight weeks and he’d found a place to live. He’d saved up enough to pay his portion of the rent.
This user actually wrote us to say thanks. Apparently, he’d been fighting the temptation to spend his rent on some frivolous stuff.
Other people use it for group activities. For instance, you create a savings goal called “Dakar 2017” with ₦100,000 as your target amount. You invite four friends to “Dakar 2017”. REACH will debit you and your friends daily, weekly or monthly until you’ve saved up your target amount. That’s how REACH works.
JHN: What kind of customers do you target your service to?
Jr Kanu:We find that most of our customers are between 17 and 35, are educated professionals, and live in Lagos.
JHN: What challenges have you faced doing business in Nigeria?
Jr Kanu: Honestly, I’ve been fortunate doing business in Nigeria. It’s never easy starting anything from scratch – regardless of your geography. So relative to other startups around the world, I’d say our story is pretty typical. If anything, Naija has been kind to us. Our team is 100% Nigerian – talented minds that are excited to build something that matters. We’re also lucky to have the backing of a respected name like Zenith working with us to provide this service to people. Frankly, I can’t complain.
JHN: Are there any security features in place to ensure the money put into the Zenith account is only withdrawn legitimately?
Jr Kanu: First, you set the destination account for all of your savings. You determine from where it is debited and to where it is credited when you’re ready to have it back. In the meantime, Zenith Bank houses those savings in an NDIC-backed account. When it’s time to withdraw, the instruction can only come from your phone. We also keep records of all transactions to ensure that everything done on the app is traceable.
JHN: Is there anything else you would like us to know about REACH?
Jr Kanu: Right now, we’re only available to Android users. But our iOS app comes out in a few weeks. We already have a number of signups waiting to be notified of the iPhone release. There are also no fees associated with using REACH. So if you’re wondering how we make money, I’m happy to explain that.
JHN: Yes, please let us know!
Jr Kanu: Lead generation. Companies that sell stuff already spend money on advertising to find people that may or may not be interested in what they’re selling. With REACH, they get to know in advance that you want a car, house, a wedding etc. It means we can connect you to them and they’ll pay us the revenue that might have been wasted on aimless marketing. It’s a win-win.
If you’d like to know more about REACH and how you can save with this app please visit http://www.findreach.com