Saving the money I come across has long been something I have struggled with, armed with my debit card, mobile app, USSD Codes and even access to Leo, UBA’s Chatbanking bot, I have depleted my savings a lot of times. As a child, I used to save cash inside bottles and makeshift piggy bank popularly known as “kolo” so that I could have money saved for the rainy days. Thrift collectors have not always been reliable as many of them have duped us and ran away with our hard earned cash.
This has led me on the quest for a new way to increase my savings and also to decrease spending. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much, but I found four options to help us save our Naira (and Dollar) any way we choose (daily, weekly, monthly, automatically). In a bid to build our financial discipline and protect the saving culture, here are the three platforms you should consider when planning to save.
PiggybankNG is a Nigerian FinTech platform aimed at instilling saving discipline in their users. It allows users to save as low as N360 ($1) daily or N1000 weekly or N5000 monthly for an agreed period and withdrawals before the agreed withdrawal date attracts a fee of 5% of the total saved cash.
The startup’s app is best known for its simplicity and ease of use has attracted lots of users over the country and saves funds with United Bank for Africa (UBA) hence funds are secured as long as the Central Bank watches over banks.
Once you register, you have to make an initial deposit of N100; this is required so you can connect your Debit card to your Piggybank App.
After that you will have to select how much you would love to save, the frequency (being daily, monthly or weekly) and your savings target. Savings attract 6% interest when locked (to avoid withdrawal) and free withdrawal can only be made at the end of each quarter.
The app also has options for KYC (know your customer) details, next of kin details and some other stuff like reasons for saving. Piggybank.ng uses the highest levels of Internet Security, and it’s secured by 256 bits SSL security encryption to ensure that your information is completely protected from fraud.
Having just gotten $1.1 million on their last fundraising campaign, we expect more them.
CowryRise, another Fintech aimed at also aimed at encouraging users to save, with interest rates as high as 10% – 15% interest per annum. Registration is free too, and savings are also done daily, weekly, monthly.
Registration is effortless as all you need is an email, a phone number, and a name. Cowry wise allows you to create as many saving plans as possible and how to fund them. Do you need a new smartphone? Saving for your rent? Planning a trip? Need to pay off debts? You create a plan for all of them, and immediately you link your debit card, Cowrywise will automatically handle all your savings henceforth.
Money deposited into your Cowrywise account is secured as assets are held with Meristem Trustees, an SEC registered firm, who ensures savers’ funds are covered by the invested asset. Like Piggybank, Funds can be locked to prevent indiscriminate withdrawals. For unlocked funds, Cowryrise allows withdrawal anytime. Information available on their website states “We don’t tell you how many times you can withdraw from your unlocked saving plans. We believe this flexibility is required on periodic savings for emergencies. You can withdraw from your unlocked plans without restriction or penalty. Yep. No penalties.”
Cowrywise is secured with a PCIDSS-compliant payment gateway processor to ensure the security of customer data. Cowrywise also grants quick short-term loans to users who have a high saving score.
Unlike the two platforms above, Alat, backed by Wema bank is a Digital bank that just requires your BVN to sign up. Alat is just a full bank at your fingertips that allows you to also set a savings plan, set how it will be funded and how frequently to benefit from the 10% interest rate. It doesn’t end there though as you cannot only request for loans, you can also schedule payments and transfers (e.g DSTV subscription, allowance etc) and forget about it; Alat will do the rest.
Opening an Alat account also comes with a Debit Card which will be delivered to you anywhere within two business days. But since we are all about saving, I would say the other Alat features will make spending easy.
Do you use any of the three platforms? Share your experience and if you are planning to use any of them, tell us the one you would prefer. All three platforms above have mobile apps which are available on the google playstore.
Watch out for the next post on this segment: platforms that allow you obtain short-term loans easily.