Sanlam has partnered with Laduma Ngxokolo to take wearable tech into the financial sphere with the Mna Nam. The bangle uses a QR code that links to a Savings Wallet on the wearer’s mobile phone, allowing one to save with a wrist scan.
What if this season’s most coveted accessory is as good for your future as it is for your look? Introducing Mna Nam by Laduma – the only accessory that becomes more valuable the more you use it. Sanlam joined forces with world-renowned designer, Laduma Ngxokolo, this National Savings Month to create a signature piece that effortlessly combines fashion with function. Whether you’ve skipped your third cup of coffee for the day or just feel like rewarding yourself, you can now actively save that money instantly. For the first time, saving has become as easy as spending.
Sanlam has had widespread success from its past National Savings Month (July) social experiments – One Rand Man, One Rand Family and Conspicuous Savers – and this year the brand is shifting the focus from education to action with the Mna Nam. Conceptualised with the King James Group, Mna Nam is an exquisite, limited edition accessory that’s worn around the wrist, with an embedded QR code that links to a Savings Wallet on the wearer’s mobile phone. Marking Ngxokolo’s first foray into the world of functional fashion, it seamlessly integrates his traditionally-inspired aesthetic with smart technological capabilities – taking wearable tech to the financial sphere.
Yegs Ramiah, CEO Sanlam Brand, says, “The global trend is for wearable tech to solve real-world problems. In South Africa, this problem is the country’s poor savings culture. Mna Nam helps people prepare for a healthy financial future by making saving fashionable. The purpose-led accessory offers a one-of-a-kind campaign to shift the realm of fashion into a space for responsible saving as opposed to excessive spending.”
For Matt Ross, King James Group executive creative director, Mna Nam is an example of African ingenuity. “In Africa, we have our own set of challenges and we’re known for re-engineering technological tools to solve them. Wearable tech is very expensive and out of the reach of most – but not if you innovate on an existing platform. So, we took a widely used virtual payment app, WeChat, and flipped its primary purpose of easy spending into easy saving. Then we coupled this with an object of real beauty to be worn on the wrist and created by the country’s most forward-thinking designer, to make saving top of mind and aspirational. This is what leads to habit – a want to save.”
For Ngxokolo, functional fashion has to add value to people’s lives. “I’ve just completed my master’s in Material Futures – a course which blurs the lines between design, science and tech. In the future, designers will most probably be scientists – people who perceive opportunities for real-impact innovations that make people’s lives better. A design has to make sense and solve a problem to become iconic.”
Yegs Ramiah, CEO Sanlam Brand, agrees, “Mna Nam presents a beautiful, stylish solution that contributes towards improving South Africa’s poor savings culture. At Sanlam, we want to equip people with the tools and knowledge necessary to save for a better tomorrow. Mna Nam is an action-driven, forward-thinking campaign that’s more than just fashion.”