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How Stash App can help South Africans invest in the JSE

Phumzile Ngcatshe

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As the country intensifies the fight and influence on saving money, Liberty Life has introduced Stash, a money saving Application to help users ‘stash’ their hard earned cash for a rainy day.

The Application, which seeks to introduce users to saving money, investing in big companies that are listed in the country’s stock exchange, is receiving rave reviews in the media and in social media circles.

Launched by one of the South Africa’s major player in the savings, investment, insurance as well as retirement services, Liberty Life, the Application is gaining momentum as one of the best in the sector.

Based on a research conducted by FX Magazine, the App was launched in May 2017 to get more South Africans into taking advantage of Treasury’s generosity in relation to tax-free savings.

Although the Application did not initially link bank cards from Capitec Bank at the time of the launch, it only allowed users to link any credit, debit or cheque card from any of South Africa’s major banks such as Nedbank, First National Bank, ABSA and Standard Bank among others.

However, the Application is now available for Capitec Bank clients as the bank is taking the space by storm to grow and become the second biggest in the country.

According to Liberty, when users transact with the linked card the transaction is rounded up to a predefined amount and the difference is added to Stash.

With Stash only offering a tax-free version at the time of the launch, users’ funds are invested in a Liberty fund that tracks the top 40 companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and can be withdrawn at any given time a user wants the cash.

Since the launch two years ago, Stash managed to hit 12 000 users since the Android launch in 2017 whilst the iOS version was unveiled in October 2017, but the number have reached 40 000 at the end of 2018.

Back in 2017, Liberty announced that a staggering 60% of Stashers are below the age of 35 and they join through their friends, announcing that an average user saves R175.00 every month meaning R2.100 is approximately invested every year.

With the numbers seemingly growing, the App has also introduced rewards for those who not only plan to take care of money, but their bodies, the Application pays users when going to the gym.

Despite seeing good numbers since the launch, the Application has also faced challenges where users have their own expectations and Juan Labuschagne from Liberty Life did admit that some of the consumers to have mismatched expectations.

On the other hand, communicating with Stash is another area where users have experienced frustrations because there is no call-centre and all complaints are managed by email, however, it remains one of the most helpful Applications by far as it has clients that have invested R20 million.

Phumzile is an experienced Journalist having launched his career in 2007. He has written for News24 Travel and a number of Football websites and publications covering the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL), African football such as the CAF African Cup of Nations and CAF Club competitions. He recently joined FX Magazine to offer more balanced and unbiased financial reporting.

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