FNB has launched a new no monthly account fees digital account for stokvels which it says will help these community savings clubs better manage their administration, deposits and distribution of funds using the bank’s digital channels.
Stokvels using the account will get an opportunity to also buy funeral cover on behalf of its members, where a premium discount will be based on the number of contributing stokvel members. The funeral cover pays out double the cover amount on accidental death of a contributing stokvel member.
Raj Makanjee, CEO of FNB and Private Banking described stokvels as a vital part of society. “We are delighted to offer an innovative solution to help them manage their money through safer and efficient channels. Unlike most banks which offer traditional bank accounts for Stokvels, the design of our solution is based on understanding the core needs of stokvels. This includes enabling stokvels to digitally manage administration, contributions and pay-outs anytime, anywhere via our FNB app, online and cellphone banking.”
According to the National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA), the country has roughly 810,000 active stokvel groups consisting of more than 11 million South Africans and collecting an estimated R50 billon annually.
While stokvels have increased in size and value over the years, they have also evolved from traditional stokvels focusing on burials and groceries to property and investment clubs. Furthermore, their operational needs and processes have also evolved requiring digital advancements for safety, ease and convenience.
Sifiso Nkosi, Head of Stokvels and Group Banking at FNB Cash Investments said, “Stokvels are uniquely South African, and account for a large bulk of savings, the majority of which isn’t banked in the formal sector. Digitising traditional stokvels is at the centre of our strategy as we strive to improve savings and make Stokvels safer and more convenient for every member.”
Through FNB’s new digital offering, stokvels members will be able to view their stokvel account balances and transactions using the FNB App, which is zero rated on all major network providers and does not use the customer’s data as well as via FNB online banking and cellphone banking.
Stokvels can add members and update members details such as ID numbers, cellphone numbers and bank account information, as well as use several methods to deposit their contributions, including an electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account or free unlimited cash deposits via FNB’s deposit-taking ATMs. Where necessary, members can also make cash deposits inside via nearest FNB branch.
To process payouts, the treasurer or administrator of the stokvel initiates member pay-outs which must be approved by two extra signatories. Stokvel members can also choose between using a bank account or FNB eWallet where they do not incur fees for cash withdrawals.
Members who receive a pay-out into their personal FNB bank account can also get cash via Cash@Till at Checkers, Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Boxer, selected SPAR and Usave tills at no extra charge.
“We have conducted extensive research around stokvels to better understand what this market is looking for. One of the key insights that came from our research is that stokvels have evolved and if harnessed properly they can help improve the economic growth of South Africa. With our new stokvel account, customers can now easily and safely manage their stokvels digitally from the comfort of their own homes,” Nkosi said.