For decades, stokvels have played a significant role in promoting a savings culture and assisting individuals in achieving their financial goals. Despite the challenging economic environment, stokvels continue to exhibit growth and evolve, serving purposes beyond their traditional scope.
As the festive season approaches, many stokvel groups will be dividing their contributions before the holidays. However, fraudsters and criminals are eagerly waiting to scam and rob stokvel members of their contributions. To avoid falling victim, it is advisable to adopt safer distribution channels that help members ensure they have the happy holidays they had 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 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:
1. Process all payments through safe and digital platforms to safeguard money and save on cash handling fees.
2. Conduct digital payments at the last stokvel meeting to ensure members’ funds are transferred into their personal bank accounts.
3. Avoid announcing stokvel meetings or withdrawal dates on social media, to friends, or family members—exclusive information for stokvel group members.
4. Avoid carrying and traveling with large sums of money during this peak season.
5. If not using digital channels, stagger withdrawals into different days to ensure contribution safety.
6. Make cash withdrawals during business hours when security guards are present.
7. Avoid making cash withdrawals on high-risk days, such as month-end.
8. Encourage stokvel members 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 their safety. We encourage members to avoid traveling alone when withdrawing money at the bank and rather go in a small group. This may help minimize falling victim to crime,” concludes Magongo.