The naira has continued a steady decline in the parallel market, imploding to N855 per dollar following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s declaration to introduce new banknotes. Never before in the history of the country’s economy has the currency depleted to this level. Even as inflation surges and rocks the Nigerian economy, citizens have eschewed self-indulgence and resorted to frugality. Which in this case is seeking out means of tightening their belts and managing more. Not just any kind of managing, but penny-pinching the severely devalued naira. Fintech apps are currently providing succour to those willing to save despite the inflationary spiral.
Meanwhile Nigerians who earn in dollars as well as those who had had bulk naira in their possession, either in physical form or stowed away in banks are advantaged. They are currently in luck, strutting around with smiles plastered on their faces unlike the disadvantaged majority. In this crippling times, the last thing on people’s minds is hardly savings or investments. Yet, Nigerians in the thriving category are seen cramming every note they have into domiciliary accounts.
Some Nigerians fear being stuck with the old notes when the redesigned naira is launched. For them to be on the safe lane, it’ll require bringing out all the old banknotes in their possession, convert it to cash, then proceed to save and invest the money in reliable fintech apps.
Fintech apps are financial technology applications that employ technology to conveniently manage finances and digital transactions. These money saving and investment platforms provide hedges against rising inflation and also give interests on savings. Let’s look at some of the fintech apps in Nigeria that allow users save or invest in dollars.
Fintech Apps For Saving / Investing In Dollars
Piggyvest is an online savings and investment platform formerly known as piggybank.ng. In 2016, Somto Ifezue, Odunayo Eweniyi and Joshua Chibueze founded the first online savings website in Nigeria. The Piggyvest franchise claims to have served over four million Nigerian users since its inception and rebranding in 2019 till date.
To save in dollars on Piggyvest, the registration and Flex Naira account opening process must be completed once the app is downloaded. The Piggyvest app is available on iOS and Android. Afterwards, users are provided with options of the amount of dollars they wish to purchase, funding source (either bank debit card or Flex Naira wallet) to complete the transaction. Piggyvest offers users up to 7% interest rates per annum for saving on the Flex Dollar account.
Cowrywise is another fintech app Nigerians utilize to save in dollars, with user interface and site design that are quite similar to Piggyvest’s. Allowing its users access to tools and information to help them make well-informed decisions. It equally offers several other savings and investment benefits, short term and long term targets, group investments etc.
Cowrywise offers features that Piggyvest do not. Cultural sensitive investment options such as the halal savings plan that allows muslim users to save without interest rates or rewards, according to Islamic values. The company is Y combinator backed and was co-founded in 2017 by Ahmed Razaq (CEO) and Edward Popoola (CTO).
Users save in dollars by selecting the investment tab of the updated Cowrywise app, then complete the risk assessment form which is optional. Before clicking the “Dollar Mutual Funds” to invest.
Risevest is an online savings and investment company that seeks to restructure financial investment in Nigeria. Rise operates using a varied selection of investment options that includes stocks, real estate and fixed income securities. It specifically caters to users investing in the aforementioned by using in-depth research, insights and analysis of the stock and real estate market, with 14% interest rates respectively.
The Risevest Fixed Income plan is tailored to meet the needs of users desiring to save in dollars. It allows customers more stable returns than the stocks plan, but with lesser interest rate of 10% per annum.
Risevest was established in 2019 by Eke Urum, Bosun Olanrewaju and Tony Odiba. Eke Urum, was found guilty of sexual misconduct and abuse of power following his resignation as CEO, which was effectuated by investors. Hence, Urum has been asked to join the startup’s board of directors that was non-existent prior to the fiasco. Tony Odiba, the startup’s co-founder and Head of Product was appointed acting CEO of the company.
Trove is one of the fintech apps enabling dollar investment in Nigeria. It also offers investors access to U.S, China and Nigerian stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and fractional investments. Trove mobile app is is available for Android and iOS and it’s easy to navigate for beginner investors. Active users purchase or trade stocks, bonds and foreign assets via debit card or bank transfer. Those on a quest for brokerage services can look elsewhere as Trove is a tech platform, not a registered broker-dealer or investment adviser.
Once users completes the sign up process, next thing is to fund either the naira or dollar wallet that Trove users operates with. The Naira wallet allow customers to purchase choice asset classes, while the Dollar wallet enables foreign transactions. Trading foreign equities and fixed income securities will require funding the users’ Dollar wallet with the naira equivalent of the dollar amount they wish to save or invest.
5. MyStash Nigeria
MyStash is another fintech startup offering Nigerians online saving services. The platform provides customers a myriad of products such as SaveChecks, Profits by myStash, Smart Personal Savings, etc. SaveChecks works by allowing users receive part of their wages from employers directly into their myStash accounts in dollars. This partnership between companies and myStash Nigeria fosters organizational culture and accelerates workforce retention.
While the SaveChecks plan allows companies pay their staff in dollars, the Profits by myStash package on the other hand is different. It caters to businesses and keeps track of all dealings. Remittance is obtained in naira, then proceeds from sales are saved in either naira or dollars.
Much identical to Kuda’s Spend+Save tool, Smart Personal Savings is myStash’s digital saving strategy. Depending on the user’s preference, Smart Personal Savings is an automated tool that automatically puts money aside every time a customer spends money. Which includes but not limited to withdrawals, online purchases or bill payments. When customers earn their paychecks, part of it is equally saved, as well as wallet for stashing any loose change.