Investec’s Clarity trading platform opens to the public for testing

Investec’s Clarity trading platform has opened its beta testing onboarding program to non-Investec Private Bank Account holders. 

Clarity is a share trading and investing platform offering investors access to local and international shares, foreign currencies, and savings products.

By launching Clarity to the public, Investec aims to make investing more accessible to South Africans and is part of the bank’s new growth strategy.

“Because Clarity is powered by Investec, one of the world’s most trusted and respected financial institutions, you can trade globally confidently,” it said.

The Clarity platform has no admin fees and zero commission and offers users highly competitive fees.

Clarity business head Tinus Rautenbach said Clarity has no monthly fee and no minimum investment other than a minimum of R25 investment into the platform.

“The whole R25 is more administrative and goes entirely into your account – it doesn’t go towards fees or anything else,” he explained.

Until now, Clarity has only been available to Investec’s private banking clients. However, this has now changed.

Clarity has informed people who have registered for early access that the platform is now open to the public for beta testing.

It told interested people, “We would like to invite you to participate in our beta testing onboarding program by signing up.”

“Your feedback and insights will be invaluable in shaping the final version of our onboarding journey.”

Clarity explained that it was in the final testing stages of launching to clients without an Investec Private Bank account.

Clarity taking on EasyEquities

Tinus Rautenbach
Clarity business head Tinus Rautenbach

Investec’s Clarity is competing head-on with Purple Group’s EasyEquities platform. Both platforms promise easy and affordable access to financial markets.

Purple Group CEO Charles Savage, who runs EasyEquities, said there is a significant difference between the platforms.

He said Clarity does not offer share ownership, has different tax treatment on dividends and profits, and does not afford voting rights.

Savage argued that Clarity is more for traders and is, therefore, nothing like EasyEquities, which is aimed at traditional investors.

EasyEquities chief marketing officer Carel Nolte also addressed the issue, saying Clarity involves synthetic CFDs, while EasyEquities offers share ownership.

Rautenbach dismissed Savage and Nolte’s arguments, saying Clarity is not only aimed at high-frequency and high-gearing traders but also marketed as an investment platform.

Although Clarity was launched as a trading platform with investing and trading capabilities locally and offshore, its links to Investec changed the picture.

“Because we are a bank, we have a different value we can place on the cash on the platform,” he explained.

Because of the banking value proposition, Clarity does not need the value of the high-frequency traders to make the platform feasible.

“We have a business model where we need the savings clients and a smaller group of trading clients on the platform,” he said.

“If we look at the collective, we are very comfortable that the platform can be commercially viable without having to incentivise speculative or high-frequency trading.”

He said Clarity does not want to compete with high-gearing and FX trading platforms. Instead, it is aimed at a more general investing audience.

Rautenbach said that when they open the platform to the public, they envisage many people from other banks starting their investing and wealth creation journey.

Therefore, it is a direct competitor to EasyEquities, with a similar target audience and strategy to make investing easy.