In your best interest

The advantages of a stokvel bank account

It is becoming increasingly important for stokvels to consider having a bank account with a reputable financial institution to keep their hard-earned money safe and secure, but also to improve the buying power of their money through earning interest on those monies.

There will always be a place for traditional stokvels that help members with their basic needs, but times are changing. More and more stokvel members have realised that by using the wide variety of value-adding banking products and options available to stokvels today, they can significantly improve their buying power and deliver better value to members. All it takes is a bit of research.

Most banks offer stokvel accounts that start paying interest on balances from as little as R 100. These accounts are designed to receive members’ individual contributions from members – contributions are deposited directly to this account, which is much safer than collecting the money at meetings and then keeping a large amount either in someone’s house or waiting for the bank to open to make a deposit.

Having a bank account brings great advantages to stokvels that want to invest in longer term investment options.

Members also have the option of linking many other interest-bearing investment accounts such as money market, notice deposit and fixed deposit accounts.

When members all pay their money into a bank account, they all benefit because, generally, the higher the balance in the account, the higher the interest rate. The longer the money stays in the account, the more interest earned. After a set time, say a year, the total amount saved means that the stokvel has accumulated interest. This is added to the capital amount, providing additional buying power and value for members.

For example, if members of a stokvel contribute R3 000 per month, after 12 months they would have accumulated capital of R36 000. At a rate of 5% per annum, they would have earned an additional R1800 in interest alone. This now takes their total available balance to R 37,800. If the money is not withdrawn and contributions continue, the magic of compound interest will ensure further and faster growth.

Having a bank account also brings another great advantage to stokvels that want to invest in longer term investment options. Banks have Certified Financial Planners available in most branches who can advise stokvels on the many options available.

Banking also offers stokvels other benefits and opportunities:

  • It is easier to keep track of deposits into an account and the money being taken out of an account.
  • You can easily access statements that accurately reflect balances and interest earned, which makes reconciliation much easier.
  • Distribution of funds to members can be done directly into their bank accounts, which removes the risk associated with carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Members can learn more about the various convenient and value-adding banking products that are available not only to the stokvel, but also to individual members.

Because of the various regulations and legislation that govern banks, there is no safer place to store your money.

If you are part a stokvel, savings group or burial society, take time out to speak to your bank about the various options available to you. You might be surprised on what you have been missing out on.

Riaan Appelgrein, Senior Manager: Customer Financial Solutions, Standard Bank