With the rise of online savings platforms in Nigeria more people are on the path to financial freedom. Are you one of them?
It’s a new year and with it comes new goals. Unfortunately, a lot of people quickly run out of steam even before the first month runs out.
If you are one of those, with the right online savings platform, the proper amount of discipline, and a regular income, you are on your way to overcoming your financial setbacks this year.
What are online saving platforms?
Picture operating a traditional savings account but from the comfort of your phone. Yes, that is how online savings platforms work.
While some of these platforms are strictly for saving money, some also offer online loans in Nigeria. Others are also known to full banking services, complete with a physical credit or debit card.
Simply put, an online cash savings platform is a way of making your cash work harder by unlocking better interest rates than those offered by traditional banks.
Most of these platforms provide access to a wide range of bank accounts meaning that your money can be deposited in the account that offers the best interest rate at that particular time.
The importance of saving money cannot be overemphasized. Saving in Nigeria is regarded as one of the essential aspects of building wealth and having a secure financial future.
In addition, saving money gives you a way out of the uncertainties of life and provides you with an opportunity to enjoy a quality life.
Putting aside a sum of money in a systematic manner can help you steer out of many hurdles and obstacles in life. It can support you in your hour of need and ensure that your family has something to fall back on in case of an unfortunate event.
Some of the reasons why saving money are important includes:
Peace of mind
Knowing that you have a certain amount accumulated for times of your need, gives you peace of mind. You can lead a stress-free life with the knowledge that you will not have to struggle if things take an unexpected turn.
A secured future
With your savings, you can easily meet several of your goals. You can buy a house, accumulate funds for your retirement, or purchase a vehicle.
You can secure your future, indulge in the best of things that life has to offer, and live a very fulfilled life.
Meet short-term goals
When people think of savings, long-term goals usually come to mind, but that is not always the case. Savings are not just aimed at the long term. You can also benefit from savings in the short term. A lot of people save for a few months and then travel or move into a bigger apartment.
Your savings, whether long or short-term, give your family some form of security in case of an unfortunate event. By saving in a disciplined manner, you can make sure that your family is well provided for.
In unfortunate times like the loss of a job or ill health, your savings can act as a cushion for your loved ones and help them overcome any financial difficulty.
Tips to help you save efficiently
If you are new to savings or find it difficult to stick to your objective of saving, then you can try the following steps.
Limit your ATM card usage
Your electronic cards make transactions seamless, but they also tend to make you overspend. In order to save efficiently, limit how you slot your card into that machine or POS.
This may require a lot of discipline. Some people are known to leave their cards at home and go out with the exact amount theory need.
Keep track of your expenses
If you find it difficult to save regularly, try to record and keep a track of your monthly expenditure. This will offer you a clear picture of where you spend. You can then identify the things that are not important and aim at saving more by avoiding those purchases.
Create a budget for savings
It helps to create a budget for each month and stick with it. You can create a plan at the beginning of the month to target savings and set limits for spending.
This lets you focus on what is important, reduces the chances of overspending, and lets you save as planned.
Pick an interest-yielding plan
Finance experts call this getting your money to work for you. By picking a saving option that yields interest, your money increases over time.
Push comes to shove, you can withdraw the interest while leaving the amount saved to continue working for you.
Are online savings platforms in Nigeria safe?
Yes, online banks are safe. Online banks, like other financial institutions, are insured by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
Online savings platforms in Nigeria operate as Microfinance Banks. This means they are also regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This provides an added layer of safety, ensuring that depositors’ funds are safe.
On the whole, online savings accounts generally are safe and secure, as a depositor, there are a few steps you can take before you choose a platform to save with.
Tips for staying safe online
Despite the safety nets put in place by the government regulatory bodies, it is important as a depositor that you take steps to ensure you are not the victim of a scam.
Some of the steps you can take to protect your money include;
- Making sure to check whether the website or app is backed by the NDIC. You can look for the NDIC logo on the platform’s website or search the corporation’s database to learn more about the platform.
- One of the risks of online saving is that criminals have set up a fake online website to siphon money from unsuspecting victims, but a quick check could prevent you from falling victim. By making sure they have a verifiable address and a reachable contact, you may just be saving yourself from heartbreak.
- When using an online saving platform, be sure to adhere to safe internet use practices, including creating a unique and secure password, being careful about the networks you connect to, and avoiding phishing attempts.
Online savings platforms in Nigeria
The advent of digital banking means the emergence of many online savings platforms in Nigeria. However, despite their numbers, some are still wary about which to use.
In no particular order, below are 10 of the top-rated online saving platforms available.
With Cowrywise saving app, you can save money on your own terms. With just one account, you can save in multiple different ways.
The platforms help customers with regular savings that offer juicy returns. It also has long-term saving goals for life’s important milestones.
Other products it offers include Halal Savings and Saving Circles which help customers set targets and save together with others.
Another top-rated savings platform, PiggyVest offers savers between 5% and 15% when they use any of their plans.
With the app, you can lock money away for a fixed duration with no access to it until maturity. It’s like having a custom fixed deposit.
It also has Goal-oriented Savings, Target Savings, Flexible Savings as well as the Flex Naira options.
Kolopay helps its customers save easily, little by little towards their goals. It offers up to 10% interest, all for free.
Described as the first African fintech with robust blockchain security protocol, SumoTrust’s customers automatically earn 10-15% interest on their savings.
The platform provides customers with a unique virtual bank account number with a promise of high interest compared to other banks.
Its saving options include; Main Savings, Fixed Savings, Missions Savings, as well as Kick Account
Described as the money app for Africans, KudaBank is a digital banking platform that allows customers to save, spend, and invest money across borders.
It uses technology to provide automated saving making it easier for customers to save.
- Alat by Wema
Another digital bank, Alat, an app by Wema Bank has a Spend and Save feature which gives its users an opportunity to make their saving goals achievable.
The Spend and Save automatically allows users to save between 5 to 20% of all expenses made such as airtime and data purchases, transfers, and Bills payment from their Alat App or account.
SmartSaver uses the highest levels of Internet Security, and it’s secured by 256 bits SSL security encryption to ensure that customers’ information is completely protected from any form of fraud.
The online saving platform aims to make its customers’ savings easier, more secure, and more convenient.
Its SuperSaver product offers up to 8% annual interest on savings.
With Crowdyvest, savers can set major life goals and achieve them with a savings plan that gives more.
The platform helps its users achieve their financial goals by saving as they wish while enjoying the most impressive rates of savings.
Its interest rates could be as high as 15% per annum.
Vestpay promises its users an opportunity to build and sustain wealth. With Vestpay, you earn 15% interest per annum on your savings target.
With a Carbon savings plan, customers are able to build wealth with a high-yield savings account.
The platform offers up to 15.5% returns on investments.
Among other features, savers can lock away bulk sums for capital projects from as low as N50,000 and earn 15.5% at maturity.
Drawbacks of Online Savings Accounts
Online savings accounts can be attractive to many, but they are not without their disadvantages.
Due to the model with which they operate, customers can’t get face-to-face customer service at a physical branch. When an online bank’s system goes down, you won’t be able to access your account.
Online banks normally don’t have their own ATMs, although they might provide access to an independent ATM network and reimburse any ATM fees.
They might not offer certain services, such as mortgage loans, as their traditional bank counterparts do.
Generally, online banks haven’t been in business as long as traditional banks have, so customers are having difficulty accepting them as a secure way of saving money.