More often then not, women are conditioned to believe that they cannot handle financial planning. Men in Indian households are accustomed to taking charge of income.
Recognising this gap between men and women who actively manage their earnings and savings, Hena Mehta started a one-of-its-kind mobile platform- Basis. The mobile app allows its users to pick investment products that will work for their financial needs and goals.
The app comes especially handy to those women who are new to the often perceived as 'complex' world of investment. With a plethora of information on savings and investment products in the market, it could seem intimidating to start.
Furthermore, there is scepticism on seeking advice from professionals over the fear of being cheated or mis-sold.
The Basis app seeks to educate investors on their options, rights and functionalities when using investment products to save for their future goals.
Why do women need a special personal finance app?
Women are known to live longer than men. They also have different goals and problems when it comes to building a corpus. Whether it comes to taking a career break to raise a child or a sick parent, women prefer to be independent with their money requirements.
Modern women today would prefer to live life on their terms and to be financially empowered to be able to meet their own as well as their family's needs.
The Basis App
The Basis App was launched in 2018 by Hena Mehta, who has a BSE in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The Wharton School. Having spent over 8 years in the Fintech space, she built the Basis App to empower women to take their personal finance decisions.
The Basis App is being constantly updated for more engaging content. The platform focuses on helping women in Tier-1 and Tier-2 Indian cities gain financial independence.
The app has two functionalities-
Whether you are a salaried individual, freelancer or an entrepreneur, you can input your goals into the platform to get seek customised learning and suggestions.
There are educational modules and curated financial content explained in short and simple language. The app contains short 20 to 50-word flashcards that make these quick to go through and easy to grasp.
The Basis App is currently available on the Android platform and will soon be available for iOS users as well.
How to invest using Basis App?
Basis is currently tied up with 5 mutual fund management companies.
When you use the "Invest" feature on the app, its built-in algorithms that will give you recommendations on investment products based on the goals and needs you input.
You can customise your investment portfolio based on whether you wish to:
- Invest your savings
- Invest to save tax
- Make goal-oriented investment
For example, you are interested in saving to purchase a car, you can choose that as your goal and pick the period you wish to buy it within and the app will suggest mutual fund products accordingly.
The app is user-friendly and detailed so as to not overwhelm first-time investors.
The Trust Factor
Trusting someone with your hard-earned money is hard, especially when one has to invest in market-linked instruments that are unpredictable. The assuring factor about the makers of Basis App is that its entity-GetBasis Securities and Technologies-is a SEBI Registered Investor Advisor.
SEBI RIAs are authorised by the market regulator to provide advice on dealing with financial securities or investment products for the benefit of their clients.
Since Basis is a SEBI RIA, the financial products recommended on the app are separate from its advisory services, which means:
- You as a user are under no obligation to avail the services or products offered by the app.
- All fees paid goes directly to the distributor of the mutual fund company and not to Basis, which means it is highly unlikely that they would mis-sell a product to you for their profit.
Building a savings-oriented community
For decades self-help groups have been popular among women in India.
Similarly, Basis instils a sense of community among women through its Facebook group which currently has close to 2,000 participants.
The group has created a safe space for women to discuss their life goals and plans and how money can help enable accomplish them.
CEO Hena Mehta and CIO Dipika Jaikishan are personally engaged in its workings.
It is an active group wherein the Basis team also conducts weekly live video sessions on Fridays called "Finance Fridays" to educate women on being money-wise.
The makers of the app are currently working on integrating the group interaction feature over the app and should be available soon.