While stokvels have been around for years in Mzansi, some still literally save their money under mattresses – it’s time to change that. Here’s why.
Stokvels are as South African as boerewors or shisanyama, and they’re an important part of Mzansi’s economy. They keep mashonisa at bay when a mother needs to pay for new school uniform, when a budding entrepreneur wants to turn their side hustle idea into a reality or when you just want to take that holiday you’ve been dreaming about.
But, let’s face it – where there’s money there’s thieves.
Some ways you can keep your stokvel money safe.
Don’t flash your cash
Common thieves are always on the lookout for vulnerable people to steal from, and because stokvel pay-outs are often ‘advertised’ in the townships by word of mouth and excited neighbours, it’s not hard for the thugs to spot them.
Carrying large amounts of cash makes you an easy target, so avoid it as far as possible. And this applies to your digital self too. Never post about your stokvel’s scheduled meetings or pay-out days on social media – you never know who’s watching.
Mondays, Fridays and end-of-the-month are considered high-risk days when it comes to stokvel money. Try and avoid cash withdrawals of club member contributions on these days.
If you are withdrawing money from the ATM, only draw small amounts over different days. Avoid withdrawing or depositing money at ATMs after hours when the streets are quiet, and rather use ATMs in busy shopping malls, inside banks, or, if you’re a TymeBank customer you can withdraw cash at Pick n Pay or Boxer till points.
Safety in numbers
Make dealing with cash a group effort. Team up with fellow stokvel members when drawing and depositing cash. Apart from it being safer, it also promotes transparency between members. Win-win!
Stokvels originated in the 20th century when African farm workers in the Eastern Cape gathered for “stock-fairs”. We’ve come a long way since then, but some people are still relying on old-school methods to store their money. Setting up a bank account for your stokvel is safer and simpler. Members of a stokvel should also be encouraged to open personal bank accounts to avoid carrying large amounts of cash. And with products like GoalSave, you can even let the contributions and pay-outs grow with interest.
Once in a bank account, keep your moola safe. Don’t share your banking details with anyone. The same goes for usernames, passwords, ID numbers and card details, no one needs to know that information. Some criminals will pose as banking officials to gain access to your information and then your cash. Bank officials will never call you and ask for your PIN.
Let’s get digital
Electronic banking makes it possible for members to deposit cash directly into a bank account instead of collecting cash contributions. Pay-outs are also convenient as they can be transferred to the members’ account or made through a service such as TymeBank’s SendMoney (all they need is a cellphone).
Yes, a stokvel is more than a financial union. For many, it’s a social club; a place where members meet and socialise. The meeting can still take place on the day of the pay-out, but instead of cash contributions in envelopes, make use of cellphone banking and just deposit the money electronically.
Why choose TymeBank for your stokvel
- TymeBank’s Everyday Business Account keeps your money safe with no hidden monthly fees. The first cash deposit is mahala!
- With no or low banking fees for withdrawals and deposits, your money is safe.
- You can earn interest with GoalSave. This is a savings tool that is linked to your bank account – the longer you keep money in your account, the more interest your stokvel money generates.
If your bank doesn’t help your stokvel grow to be a skhokho among other stokvels, then it’s time to switch TymeBank. Open an account today.