For decades, stokvels have played a significant role in encouraging the culture of saving and helping people achieve their financial goals. Despite the challenging economic environment, stokvels continue to show growth and evolve as they continue to serve additional purposes other than what they were traditionally created for.
With the festive season approaching, a lot of stokvel groups will be splitting their contributions before the holiday season. However, fraudsters and criminals are also eagerly waiting to scam and rob members of their stokvel contributions. To avoid falling victim, it is advisable to adopt safer distribution channels that help members ensure they have the happy holidays they’d planned for..
Cebile Magongo, Growth Specialist at FNB Cash Investments says, “as we approach the peak season for stokvel withdrawals, we urge consumers to take the necessary safety measures when distributing their contributions. Our digital solution enables our customers to distribute members contributions in a way that is safe and convenient.”
Magongo shares a few safety considerations for members when distributing their contributions:
- It is advisable to process all payments through safe and digital platforms. This will not only safeguard their money but will also help the scheme save on cash handling fees as digital payments are free.
- Consider doing all digital payments at the last stokvel meeting, ensuring that when members leave the meeting, their funds have been transferred into their personal bank accounts.
- Avoid announcing stokvel meetings or stokvel money withdrawal dates on social media, to friends or family members. This should only be exclusive to members of the stokvel group.
- Avoid carrying and travelling with large sums of money during this peak season.
- If you are not using digital channels, do not withdraw all the funds at the same time. Consider staggering the withdrawals into different days to ensure that your contributions are safe.
- Make cash withdrawals during business hours when it’s safer with security guards present.
- Members should avoid making cash withdrawals of their contributions on high-risk days such as month end.
- Stokvel members should be encouraged to invest or save a portion of their contributions for other important goals.
“While we understand that some stokvel groups still operate on a cash basis, they should take the necessary precautions to ensure that they are safe. We encourage members to avoid travelling alone when going to withdraw money at the bank and rather go in a small group. This may help minimise falling victim to crime,” concludes Magongo.