// case study 004

The first competitor to the JSE in South Africa since 1958, marking the disruption of a more than 50-year long monopoly.


Services Provided

  • Product Design

  • Web Development


The Challenge

In the past, it was a no-brainer to rely solely on a broker to handle your investments. But in this age of instant information, it can be frustrating to deal with the middleman, especially if you don’t have real-time access to your portfolio and its performance. Together with Platform45, ZAR X is putting the stock exchange directly into the hands of ordinary investors.

Did you know: ZAR X is the first company in more than 100 years to be awarded a stock exchange licence?

ZAR X is a fully licenced stock exchange that uses disruptive FinTech to create a more efficient market, leveraging intuitive, user-friendly technology to remove barriers, reduce costs and save time. One of the core challenges faced by the FinTech industry is transparency. Not just a buzzword, it’s a vital part of being a participant in today’s capital market space, where customers want to know how their orders are handled and how their information is protected.

Another key objective of the platform was to broaden financial inclusion by giving ordinary investors easy, affordable access to securities, make it easier for smaller companies to list, and provide a much broader range of investment opportunities for investors.

"ZAR X prides itself on utilising innovative ideas and cutting edge technology allowing exposure to securities and investments, not only for the existing high net worth and institutional investor, but for the everyday man on the street as well. It was no surprise then that we teamed up with Platform45 to create an exchange driven mobile application allowing investors real-time data, notifications and access to their portfolios with their brokers."

ZAR X Team

The Solution

To make the platform as simple, low-cost, transparent and agile as possible, ZAR X announced they would be launching the first-ever exchange mobile app in Africa, and approached Platform45 to build it for them. Not only would the integrated app give ZAR X a competitive advantage, it would also provide an easy way for any user to sign up with a broker through the exchange and join the investment community. ZAR X is run by disruptors and innovators - they are not in the business of “doing more of the same or emulating what other exchanges do”, which makes them a perfect partner for Platform45.

In August 2017, designers, developers and product owners from both parties got around a table and mapped out the mobile application’s features; how they would be rolled out and when. More a discussion than a presentation, ZAR X was hands-on throughout the process, taking guidance from Platform45 on the best technology to use as well as the most efficient methods to achieve a desktop app as well as an Android and iOS app.

"Presenting the route of choosing Turbolinks over native functionality saved ZAR X time and budget and was in the end the better choice for their requirement. Overall, we guided them on the system architecture and hosting to meet their demands, and the type of technology to use to achieve what they wanted in the stipulated timeline, so they relied on us and trusted us for the majority of the technological decisions."

Matt Riemer

Lead Developer

The build has been continuous since it began, moving seamlessly from the first phase to the second phase with no downtime. “The first phase of the project had a defined set of functionality,” says Matt. “Once we’d met these requirements, the client extended their budget to include more functionality.”

The first phase of this project required various skills and different types of technologies to get up and running. As we needed to connect to a live exchange and transfer share data as fast as possible, we had to run the backend in a C# console app that would maintain a streamed TCP connection to the exchange port to retrieve data and place trades,” says Matt. “The frontend of the app was then built in Ruby on Rails and the data from the backend was passed to the fronted using Redis key value storage.”

"Working with the Platform45 team is effortless, the devotion and effort that the team have and continue to display is reassuring as a client, especially when developing an application with the potential to reach millions of investors. The constant open communication channels, updates and honest working relationship has help ZAR X produced an application that we can be proud of. We certainly will be working with Platform45 into the future on many more exciting projects."


What's Next

ZAR X will apply its technological capabilities through the introduction of products and services that have not been seen in the industry, including an innovative B-BBEE in perpetuity offering without the need to lock in investors for a predetermined period. ZAR X will continue to break barriers to entry for the man on the street to drive financial inclusion and unlock retail investment capital.


// case study 006

Protecting people from debt.

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