Transacting made easy
Malibongwe Mngomezulu speaks to stokvel experts on how to make simple, safer and faster transactions
TECHNOLOGY has produced some amazing resources over the years and this has made our lives easy. With technology, no one can make excuses about not being able to pay their stokvel contribution on time or losing money that they had put under their mattress for safe-keeping. However, even with technology, one still needs to be aware of safer and easy ways for transactions.
Andile Fulane, a stokvel financial education expert, says the rising popularity of stokvels has meant that they have become targets of fraud and violence.
“We often hear of people who started a stokvel only to take members’s money and run away with it. There are also Whatsapp and internet stokvels mushrooming everywhere and creating victims in the process,” he says.
According to Andile, there are a couple of reasons why a stokvel must consider automating its financial transactions.
“Firstly, they need to do it for safety reasons. A lot of stokvels have been robbed of their money when they've just withdran it and they are about to share it.
Secondly, some people still believe in mattress banking or keeping a large sum of money in their houses. There have been incidents where this money has been stolen.
Thirdly, it's difficult to deposit money to a central bank account of a stokvel because of the queues and the busy lives we live. Lastly, some stokvels are using one member’s
bank account to transact and they run the risk that they may lose their money if that member can decide to run away with it.
The other possibility is that if that member passes away and the money becomes part of their estate, the members will not be able to access it,” Andile explains.
Andile says that stokvels need to use a cashless system that allows them to contribute and receive money from the central bank account with ease and great safety.
“Internet banking can allow for such but most stokvel members are old and cannot use the internet. For those, it would be better to use a technology called the USSD Mobile Banking,” he explains.
“This allows you to do transactions using a number usually starting with*120*number#. This is simple enough to be used by anyone. Unfortunately, most banks neither have internet banking for stokvels club accounts nor a USSD system.”
SENDING CASH IN STORES
Another way to transfer money is through sending it by using a service provided by some selected stores.
What you need to do is to go to the cashier with your identity book or card and the amount of money you wish to send, plus an amount for the money transfer.
The next step would be to select a four-digit PIN number of your choice and enter it to receive a transfer number. It is important to only give the PIN and money transfer number to the person who will collect the money on the other side.
You can send an amount from R1 to R5 000 per day, and up to a maximum of R25 000 per month, to anyone. The money can be collected immediately at any selected store in South Africa.
The person collecting the money will also need to go to the cashier with their ID book or card, as well as the PIN code and the money transfer number that was given by the sender. Then they can withdraw the money. If there's something that you don't understand, the cashier will be there to assist you.
IN WITH THE NEW
“Stokvels should not hang on to the old way of doing things even if they have not been a victim of crime or fraud yet. They must skill themselves, move out of their comfort zones and embrace technology to avoid future problems,” says Andile.
“As a word of caution, people interested in joining a stokvel must remember the core values of a successful stokvel and that it is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
A real stokvel teaches us to be patient. It's not only about money but about ubuntu and sharing. Stokvels are built on a social capital backbone where people become more than just transacting parties, but friends who assist each other in good and bad times.
That’s how traditional stokvels have stood the test of time and managed to send children to school, build houses and start successful businesses.”
So make sure that your stokvel moves on with the times and researches new ways of doing things. This will not only make things easy for you but it will also help protect your hard-earned cash from falling into the wrong hands.
Stokvels should not hang on to the old ways of doing things
With the many options available for making financial transactions, stokvel members don't have to walk around carrying large sums of money
Mobile banking makes it easy for stokvel members all over the country to send and receive money at a click of a button