Nedgroup Investments ‘Robo advisor’

A digital "Robo" advisor that facilitates needs analysis via a chat platform in order to provide investment recommendations to potential investors.

Project overview

Problem: signing up for an investment can be a lengthy process filled with paperwork.

Potential investors do not know which product is most suitable for their needs - which necessitates an appointment with an advisor.

Capturing details of a client's current financial status, future needs and personal details is usually a tedious process of filling in forms or an often inconvenient appointment with an advisor.

Solution: a digital advisor, available 24/7. A short conversational interface to capture key pieces of information to be used in the needs analysis algorithms. Advice, sign up, management - all done online.

We worked with Nedgroup investments alongside their international project partners, to deliver a digital "Robo" advisor. The advisor was to be integrated with EEE for digital onboarding and with the project partner's sophisticated algorithms (to provide an investment recommendation).

Chat was to be embedded in the "extraordinary life" website and presented as the first step in investing with Nedbank.

Extraordinary life

Robo overview

Robo overview

Highlighted features

The digital advisor needed to include mechanisms to set it apart and make an often tedious process feel exciting. Elements such interactive facial analysis software/tool to 'guess your age' rather than just asking how old you are were incorporated to make the experience more engaging. Makes capturing details more interesting through mechanisms such as.

3 pathways were selected for phase 1, based on the most common reasons for wanting to invest: retirement, education, and a personal goal (e.g. a holiday). A fourth flow was later added to allow a user to 'just save' with no specific goal in mind.

  • Interactive map to pick a school.
  • Capturing salary, age, kid's names etc.
  • Assessing risk aversion based on questions the digital advisor asks
  • Highly integrated with Nedbank APIs and with our international partner's APIs.
  • Obtain a personalised investment recommendation for a specific goal: saving for retirement, saving for your child's education or saving for a personal goal such as a holiday.

  • Also provide advice to people who have a set amount in mind they wish to save, without a specific goal.
  • Recognises the user's location and recommends schools
  • Recommends school based on fee structure and needs
  • Quick and simple - a few clicks instead of endless forms.
  • Instant recommendation - no waiting.
  • If the recommendation is appealing, the user can pass from the chat experience directly into digital onboarding to sign up for the investment.

Atura also provided a platform to facilitate direct chat with a financial advisor. Once a user receives their recommendation via the digital advisor, they may choose to sign up for it. Once invested, they may log back in to view various pieces of information about their investment, and track how it is growing. Atura provided the ability to chat with a financial advisor here.

Robo overview

Robo overview


We used ASP.NET, Azure and the Microsoft Bot Framework to build our chat bot because of the seamless integration between these respective parts. Azure offers us easy ways to scale and maintain reliable services, with Bot Framework providing integration into various chat platforms and the ability for us to use our own custom JavaScript webchat. We keep the user up to date on their recommendation with our custom built summary, that dynamically updates as the user answers questions about their financial goals and profile.

We have chosen to combine our own custom components and the built in functionality provided by services such as Bot Framework and Azure in order to achieve a uniquely functional robotic advice experience for the user.

We integrate with multiple external APIs, such as Microsoft's Facial Recognition API and Google Location API, to keep the experience fun for the user and provide the best advice we can.

  • ES6 JavaScript
  • NET
  • Google Location API integration
  • Nedbank Nedsecure API integration
  • Microsoft Face API integration for facial recognition
  • Webpack
  • SCSS
  • CosmosDB
  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • Application Insights
  • Custom built webchat
  • Microsoft Service Bus


Robo overview