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Raiz Invest

Web and mobile micro‑investment application

About Raiz Invest Company

Raiz Invest Limited, or simply Raiz, is Australia’s largest mobile-first savings and investing platform.


The company was founded in 2015 as Acorns Australia, the local arm of the US-based micro-investing platform Acorns. Around the same time, Richard Brookes, now the CTO of Raiz, who had once dealt with Onix, recommended our team for building a modified version of Acorns for the Australian market.


Thus, in early 2016, the first of its kind mobile-led, consumer-focused financial services platform was launched, pioneering micro-investing for Australians aged 18 to 35. In 2018, Acorns Australia rebranded as Raiz Invest.

The Raiz Philosophy

Improving financial literacy

Since its inception, the company has been committed to improving its customers’ financial literacy and empowering them to invest in the stock market from a young age.

New class of investors

Historically, two factors have worked against younger investors. First, they lacked knowledge about how to start investing in the stock market. Secondly, investment funds, financial advisers, and stockbrokers are interested only in clients with substantial sums to invest. By addressing both of these barriers to entry, Raiz is enabling a whole new class of investors.

Simplified investing

The Raiz philosophy is about disciplined saving and investing small amounts regularly. Their user-friendly automated savings and investment application uniquely links simplified investing with everyday life. Its key feature is literally empowering everyday people to invest while spending.

No minimum account balance

There’s no minimum account balance requirement to open a Raiz account, and users can gain hands-on experience on saving and investing in global markets even with very modest amounts.

Raiz Micro‑Investment Platform

Raiz Invest is available via a website and a handy app for Apple and Android devices. The platform offers users an easy way to regularly invest small or large amounts, in or outside superannuation, into one of seven portfolios.

Each portfolio is a mix of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) quoted on the Australian Securities Exchange and provides different levels of risks and returns:

Conservative

Monthly amount of investment

To see projection value, plese enter how much money you want to invest monthly:

$5
graphgraph

Users can choose from three investing methods and benefit from the opportunities to:

    save for retirement and invest in superannuation
    save and invest easily for their children
    set up savings plans for dream purchases or other goals
    make purchases where MasterCard is accepted
    with the co-branded bundle MasterCard
    receive cash rewards for shopping online
    receive and invest cashback from purchases from partner brand stores
Raiz deems the security of its customers’ personal information and money its priority and works to prevent fraudulent and criminal activity. Its website and app are secured with 256-bit SSL encryption. Multi-factor account authentication, automatic logouts, and ID verification processes prevent unauthorized access.
Raiz also notifies users about any unusual account activity detected by Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
Raiz operates in the cloud, and all user information is stored on remote servers with bank-level security and data encryption.
If a user deletes the app from their device, gets a new one, or it’s stolen, the user’s account and investments will be safe and the service will not be interrupted.

Raiz’s Killer Features

Round-Ups

Round-Ups is the key benefit of using Raiz: it turns its users’ everyday purchases into an investment tool. Users that opt in to this feature link one or several credit/debit cards to Raiz’s funding account. After that, every time they swipe a connected card, the virtual change goes to their account to invest.

The app monitors the user’s EFTPOS transactions and rounds up the spends to the nearest dollar. If they pay $8.40 for lunch, the actual change of $0.60 they would have had is automatically allocated to their account in the app. When the accumulated virtual change reaches the AUD$5 threshold, Raiz automatically invests it into the user’s chosen ETFs.

round-ups
investment

Investment Portfolios Management

Raiz has a unique algorithm that keeps the funds in a user’s account within the chosen portfolio’s target range. Users need to agree to the automated procedure of rebalancing their account, which will balance the ETFs despite market fluctuations.

Every time they deposit or withdraw funds, Raiz automatically adjusts the proportions of ETFs purchased to move the account towards its target portfolio allocation. It also periodically reviews and rebalances their portfolio whenever the percentage holding of one or more ETFs fluctuates 5% above or below its target allocation. Rebalancing also occurs when users request to change their portfolio. Raiz sells overrepresented ETFs and uses the proceeds to buy underrepresented ETFs to bring the portfolio in line with its new target allocation.

Software Development & Technology Stack

Onix’s developers were initially contracted to build a version of the original American Acorns application that was to be adapted for the Australian market. They worked on iOS and Android versions of the app and a web application with responsive web design

Their first task was to merge the code from the original software with the new Australian app and then add new features unique to the Australian market.

The customer provided the code to start work with, but the apps’ code has gone through a number of transformations:

The original web app was written in Ember.js. Our team wrote the new code in React.js.
emberreact
ruby
The backend was completed in Ruby. The bulk of the required code in Ruby already existed. Still, the Onix team needed to work closely with the Australian Ruby team to develop a new API that would enable the app to meet the Australian market’s business requirements. The Ruby backend is mainly a monolithic code base with a few microservices. Many of the API calls are asynchronous to ensure data integrity for the investment product and to make the user experience as smooth as possible.
The original Acorns’ iOS app was written in Objective C. Onix’s team has written the new app in Swift.
objCswift
javakotlin
The Android version of the app contained legacy code and was written in Java. Onix’s Android developers have written the new code in Kotlin.
Throughout the development process, Onix’s specialists have maintained and improved the app documentation.

Mobile & Web Applications Design

Onix’s design department joined the project in 2018, after rebranding. The designers were first tasked with improving the existing application design.
The first step was a thorough research of the wireframes of the Acorns app and the app flows.
flowchart
raiz
After that, the department’s art director and one of the designers compiled ideas for improvement and prepared a concept of two mobile screens and one screen of the website dashboard.
Raiz’s team generally liked the new concept, but several comments led Onix’s designers to the conclusion that a light theme would be more appealing to the young users regardless of gender.
Raiz provided style guidelines and high-level documentation on what extra features and modifications were required. This kick-started the product redesign which progressed through five consecutive phases:

1

Onix began by drawing high-fidelity wireframes for the iOS mobile application based on the existing functionality and new features that the Raiz leadership wanted to see in the new version. After the entire list of functionalities and the app navigation were defined, all the features were displayed through the wireframes.
The designer meticulously compared different design solutions and elaborated the user experience so that users could interact with the app intuitively and enjoy it. Everything was discussed with the Raiz product manager during regular calls and corrected accordingly.
drawing
wireframes

2

Once all the wireframes were approved, the visual style definition phase began. The designer created several screens in a light theme. Raiz’s leadership liked the designs and approved the new visual style of the platform. The designer went on to apply it to all approved wireframes of the app screens.

3

The approved design was adapted for the Android application.
android
illustration

4

The designer proceeded to draw illustrations for the service’s onboarding pages in the new style.

5

The art director took over the task of redesigning the Raiz website and dashboard to ensure a cohesive user experience across the mobile apps and the website.
redisigning
implementation
Throughout the implementation phase, the designers communicated closely with the mobile and web developers. When the project requirements occasionally changed, the designers were quickly adapting the design so that the software developers could implement the changes without a hitch.
When Raiz decided to expand to a new market, a new designer took over and began to work on Raiz Malaysia, a joint venture subsidiary. The first step was to create a landing page to present the platform’s features and the benefits of using the service to the Malaysian audience.
Then, the designer adapted the entire design of the Raiz Australia mobile apps and website for the Malaysian and Indonesian markets. He has been adding new features and making changes in line with the expanding functionality to this day.
final
Thus, the design work for Raiz has

2

Lasted two years

4

Involved four UX/UI experts

400

Included the creation of 400 mobile screens and nearly as many web pages

The Result

The outcomes of the project were more than satisfying both for Raiz and Onix.

Managing director of Raiz
George Lucas
founder, CEO, and Managing Director of Raiz
Onix has always performed exceptionally well on projects for us, keeping us well informed during the process. They are easy to work with, have good communication skills, and are very reliable. Onix has good problem-solving skills and a can-do attitude, so issues are quickly resolved, which kept projects moving on time. They have a deep understanding of their areas of expertise.
The mobile apps were published on Apple’s App Store and Google Play, were featured in Forbes, WIRED, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Business Insider, CNBC, Channel 9 News, and Sky Business News, and are still enjoying great reviews from growing audiences.
forbes
wired
bloomsberg
business_insider
cnbs
nine_news
sky_news
At the 2017 and 2018 FinTech Business Awards, Raiz was named Australia’s Investment Innovator of the Year. It also won the 2018 Australian FinTech Award for FinTech Innovation in Wealth Management (Robo-Advice). The company again became the Investment Platform Innovator of the Year at the 2019 Fintech Business Awards.
In 2019, Raiz was the highest-rated Financial Service App in the App Store with over 200,000 active users. Currently, the service has 215,000 monthly active users.

215,000

Active users in the App Store

Its 2019-20 financial year was extremely successful:
Funds Under Management (FUM) rose by 30.6% to AUD$453.6 million, and active customers by 15.1% to 223,730 during the financial year.
Revenue rose by more than 60% (unaudited). This growth highlights the customer loyalty and the increasing relevance of Raiz’s products and services.

Funds Under Management (FUM) rose by

0%

to AUD$453.6 million, and active customers by

0%

to 223,730 during the financial year

As of 30 June 2020, Raiz had AUD$13 million in the bank

AUD$13M

Raiz attracted over

0

signups to the app in Indonesia’s market. Raiz Malaysia has over

0

signups already.

After productive beta testing, Raiz attracted over 95,000 signups to the app in Indonesia’s market.
Raiz Malaysia started marketing Raiz’s products to the 33 million Malaysians.
There are over 12,000 signups already, and they are growing from month to month.
Onix’s project managers, UX/UI designers, and programmers are proud to be contributing their share of expertise, ideas, commitment, and enthusiasm that makes these achievements possible.

Prospects

Currently, the Onix team is responsible for the front-end maintenance of Raiz. We provide support, fix issues, and make updates and improvements to the micro-investment app running on three platforms.
Fully realizing its competitive advantage of delivering innovative financial services and solutions via smartphones, Raiz will continue promoting to its customers new products and services that complement the micro-investing offer. For example, Raiz customers are already looking forward to the upcoming eco investment platform, and there are plans for customization of the existing portfolios.
In addition to the markets of Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia, the company has plans of further expanding to Southeast Asia.
Onix is ready to design, build, and maintain whatever innovative solutions and unique features Raiz might entrust us with.