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CSI Trends 2018

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What happens when you build a business solution, but your customers find other uses for it

As with so many new products and services that are developed, we have one expectation of how they will fit into the market but our customers will find many applications that were never envisaged at the start. Michael Griffin, CEO of ADDaBIT, built a simple, social, savings platform that created more value out of the tradition of giving gifts. His vision was to create an online savings platform that anyone could use and that made it possible for loved ones to contribute to goal-based savings, particularly around birthdays or Christmas time.
The platform is a transparent way for someone to create a fund, share it with their friends and family, and save anything from R1 without incurring bank admin fees. A target can be set and all the contributions are tracked to monitor the progress towards the goal. Some examples are those of birthdays, baby showers, wedding registries and education. But Yolinda Koesnel, from Port Elizabeth, saw another use for ADDaBIT.

Yolinda started a preschool out of a friend’s property. She spotted a need in her community for education in the early development stage and set about, taking some disposable income, creating a school. “I'm basically serving your lower income group. Crèches around here charge up to R1200 per half day. To get my foot in the market I had to ask R650 per day from 6.30am to 3pm. Whilst I have children of teachers and traffic officers - people that really just making ends meet - I also have a parent that is a student, a cleaner, and about three foreign nationals who are self-employed. They are however, people with a real desire to better their children,” states Yolinda.

Yolinda created an ADDaBIT fund for each of her pupils, not with the intention of saving towards a goal but saw a completely different potential in the mechanics of the platform. She uses the functionality of the platform that allows for tracking to keep a record of school fees. Every month, the parents pay their fees into their child’s School Fees fund and Yolinda can track in real time, the payments that have been made. Because all the fees are reflected in one fund, there is no need to sift through payment notifications and bank statements and she can see in one glance what is still outstanding per learner.

Another added benefit is that when mom or dad need support from grandparents to pay the school fees on time, Granny and Grandad can be invited to the fund via SMS or email and make an contribution on their mobile phones.

Whilst ADDaBIT was formed on the principle of a bit for now and a bit for later, it has grown to serve more purposes than to drive crowd saving - and its fans have found applications that the founder, Michael, never considered. “Our customers see the ability of ADDaBIT to meet a variety of needs,” says Michael, “We wanted to achieve being able to provide a secure and trusted online home for crowd-saving but our customers have used it as a payment gateway because it is so simple to use and share. It always amazes me to see how we are meeting people’s needs without even knowing it.”

ADDaBIT is a simple, social, savings platform that makes it easy for anyone to save for anything from as little as R1. There is no minimum contribution and no bank admin fees. Or like Yolinda, you can even create a fund on ADDaBIT and use it to manage and track payments and for those long term investments, ADDaBIT has partnered with Sanlam Investments to add a bit more in the future, so you can have a bit for now and a bit for later.