genie: Changing the Financial Landscape

Fintech, financial marketplaces, and financial literacy are common terms nowadays. In this setting, Dialog genie is a unique fintech solution that acts as a financial marketplace, connecting financial service providers and customers. It stands out by reaching the masses through mobile phones and covering multiple money management instruments. By understanding the key concepts of investment and personal financial management, such as budgeting and investment, which make up the foundation of financial literacy, according to Investopedia, individuals become better equipped to manage their wealth creation journey. This knowledge can be gained by reading, watching videos created by experts, talking to professionals and most importantly, practising. While all other aspects are accessible in today’s information age, opportunities to practice money management with a familiar and trusted source are hard to come by.

Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s leading mobile services provider, has launched genie a financial services platform to bridge this gap and support individuals in fulfilling various life goals. The genie platform offers many financial products from digital savings accounts to savings plans and quick loans offered by Dialog Finance PLC, a subsidiary of Dialog Axiata and regulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Customers who register on genie could fulfil their aspirations to set up and manage anything from saving for their child’s future or their own retirement, using debt responsibly to fund their goals, and more importantly, fostering wealth by investing in the stock market, unit trusts and a host of other products.

genie empowers users to generate wealth 
genie offers added value to the extensive mobile user base of Sri Lanka irrespective of the mobile operator it uses. The platform enables them to take control of their relationship with money, by empowering them with tools for wealth creation and by providing customers with seamless access to financial instruments. The platform enables users to access financial instruments seamlessly, without the constraints of time, location and intermediaries who may not have the same interest in small-scale investors as they do with big timers. genie not only facilitates adept investors to take charge of their investment decisions, by providing a multitude of investment instruments at their fingertips, but it also builds confidence in novice investors by providing them with the necessary information to make informed choices, such as the top-performing stocks on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). The only prerequisite is that the user is over 18 years old and is a Sri Lankan citizen.

Omnipresence, fast approvals, high efficiency and security
genie removes time boundaries as the user decides, what day of the week or what time of the day he or she applies for, say, a savings account, device loan or buys stocks. Everything is fully digitised and online. Waiting for branch opening hours, making a visit to a branch and waiting in line for one’s turn to talk to someone are not required to start one’s investment journey. Opening an account on genie takes place through an eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) process, where the user provides the necessary information digitally and remotely in a paperless process that minimizes the costs and traditional bureaucracy. The entire application process from completion, submission, verification and acceptance occurs online and the accounts are activated within 24 hours. The platform maintains a real-time credit rating, especially for existing Dialog customers, enabling them to obtain loan approvals within 24 hours. genie has built-in security measures that comply with strict industry standards from the very foundation of the system, strengthening its credibility.

A multitude of financial instruments is available under three categories
Customers can avail themselves of financial services under three broad categories;
1) Cards and payment options, 2) Savings and loan products and 3) Insurance and wealth management services.

Cards and payment options via genie
The genie app, enables users to conveniently link their credit and debit cards, their bank’s savings accounts as well as the Dialog eZ Cash wallet on the platform. This means that genie consolidates multiple cards and accounts from different banks into a single, user friendly interface. It facilitates remote payments by accepting payment requests from genie merchants and authorizing settlements. The users can use the linked cards and accounts to make over-the-counter payments at select merchants and settle their bills from a multitude of billers of utilities, on genie. The app effectively eliminates the need for paper cash, simplifying the payment process for users. In addition, genie offers users its own debit card – an internationally recognized master card attached to the genie digital savings account provided by Dialog Finance PLC. It can be fully managed- from activation to PIN reset and blocking the card in case of loss and reactivation or requesting for a new card- all digitally through the genie app. genie has partnered with several of supermarkets and e-commerce platforms to offer genie debit card holders rich deals and benefits, to enhance their shopping experience.

Savings and loan products
Dialog genie not only provides traditional but also goal-based savings accounts. The traditional Savings account offers an attractive 10.9% interest, the highest in the market coupled with an internationally recognized master debit card. The goal-based savings product enables one to save a fixed amount of funds from the salary or income on a monthly basis until a predetermined savings milestone is reached. Users can open a goal-based savings account by pledging as little as Rs 1000/- monthly, and enjoy a hefty 19.38% interest. The savings period and the goal are flexible. In addition, the platform offers a number of loan solutions, exclusively for Dialog customers, through a fast and easy digital application process. The maximum loan amount available is based on the product and the individual borrower’s history with Dialog. “Quick loans”, provide users up to Rs 50,000/- for urgent cash needs without the traditional loan approval red tape. Also, exclusively on offer, to Dialog mobile users are Lesi Credit and device loan plans. Lesi Credit offers advances to settle the users’ Dialog bills. Device loans, subject to a down payment, provide customers with a select range of smart mobile phones through flexible monthly installments. Once a digital application is approved, the applicant can pay the stipulated minimum payment and collect the devices from the nearest Dialog Experience Centre.

Investment instruments
The genie platform is a haven for those who wish to push their relationship with money beyond savings accounts, into wealth management. For the first time in Sri Lanka, real-time end-to-end digital stock trading in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is enabled via genie. As with other services on the platform, an investor starts by filling out an online application form. This leads to opening an account for him or her with the Central Depositary System (CDS), digitally, via a dedicated stock broker, enabling the trading process to start. The platform provides useful information such as the high performers of the CSE, to support even a novice investor, experimenting with investing in the stock market, to make educated decisions without the help of stock brokers. genie also facilitates mutual funds, an investment vehicle where a pool of money from multiple investors is put into a trust and invested in different instruments. The funds are managed by a professional fund manager and invested in various investment categories. Mutual funds on the genie platform are an ideal instrument for those looking for short-term or interim investment opportunities which are in securities such as government treasury bills, fixed deposits and debentures. Unlike a fixed deposit, mutual funds money market investments allow investors the flexibility to enter or exit the fund as they wish (earned returns up to that point of exit) without penalties. Financial independence begins with control over earnings, expenses, and investments. With this control, one can plan for the future and live without financial worries. The genie platform provides an excellent starting point for acquiring this independence, beginning with small steps and growing as confidence increases. With its various features and services, such as mobile wallets, loan solutions, investment options like mutual funds, and stock trading, genie offers a comprehensive solution to financial management. We invite you to start taking control of your financial future with genie.

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