BY ROTIMI AGBANA
The launch of CashBox in Nigeria has given many the hope of earning high interest on their savings. CashBox is a secure online saving platform designed to incentivize the saving of small/little sums. Customers across Nigeria can earn high interests because cashbox offers interest rates between 7% and 15% P/A on saving plans on their platform, which is higher than what customers receive from traditional bank accounts.
Traditional savings accounts in banks alone are akin to lending the banks money to trade with while customer: gets little to no returns on it; loses more to inflation than what is earned in interests; and is able to indiscriminately access the funds in said savings account thus hampering a healthy saving habit; pay monthly charges for running the same bank account.
Saving is core to every society as it is the first step to financial security. While the idea of “saving” is not exactly new to the Nigerian culture since there has always been some form of saving activity in existence in form of Ajo, Esusu or Co-operative societies, majority of Nigerians lack any real savings, carry high personal debts and can hardly come up with adequate sums in times of emergency without selling personal items or borrowing money.
Factors such as the financial system, impulse purchases, influence of advertisements, cultural beliefs and poor infrastructural facilities are things that hinder the cultivation of a healthy saving habit.
CashBox is responding to one of the most critical financial challenges facing Nigerians today- how to help Nigerians save. Savers can access this platform effortlessly and free of charge through a one-time online sign up. CashBox, has its registered office in the heart of Victoria Island, offering a buffet of saving options to suit every customer’s needs from regular saving (where customers get to create a plan and save either daily, weekly or monthly depending on their preference) to locked savings (where interests paid upfront may be withdrawn or put into another saving plan).
Withdrawals on the platform are restricted to the 1st of every month to further encourage a disciplined saving habit. Savers can earn interests and rewards for simply saving money and using the referral option.
CashBox is able to pay higher interest rates because most of its operations are technologically driven and does not accrue the high cost of maintenance which is associated with running a bank such as maintaining branches, staff, amongst others. In addition, the savings pooled from the users are invested in short term, risk-free Government bonds and securities.
Since its launch, the platform has helped over 10,000 customers save regularly and improve their financial habits. This is also because in addition to the high returns promised to customers, the platform is also free to use. Customers are not charged any fees and do not incur any costs or hidden charges for using any of the services offered. The platform is open to everyone using either a domestic or international bank/ATM card.
“Cashbox wants to make saving worthwhile again by offering high interest rates and reduced accessibility to the funds to establish a saving habit which is the foundation of financial wellbeing”, says the founder and CEO of CashBox, Sydney Aigbogun.
“This aligns with the company’s objective of offering transparent, simple and easy-to-use products that provide value.” He further advises that for improved financial wellbeing, Nigerians should try to follow a budget; have a financial cushion for emergencies; and have a plan on track to meet their financial goals. These goals may include saving to buy a car, pay house rent, putting away money for retirement, or just having enough for emergencies.
On security and privacy of information, CashBox utilizes Bank Grade security features and is secured by 256 bits SSL security encryption making customer information completely protected. The platform does not process payments and accordingly do not store customer bank details/card information.
They partner with frontline payment processor to ensure their customers are given premium services at no extra cost or charge. All card transactions are securely handled by Flutterwave, a payment technology company that provides seamless and secure payment options for companies such as Uber, Booking.com, JumiaPay, amongst others. Also, Cashbox will not share confidential information without customer’s consent.
The brain behind CashBox, Sydney Aigbogun, is a Finance graduate from the University of Lagos with years of cognate experience in the finance terrain. He is currently involved in other groundbreaking finance projects.
The Company’s Head of Operations, Kemi Adebayo, who is a Legal Practitioner, says “No amount is too small to save, just keep saving. CashBox exists solely to help make saving a habit and help curb excessive spending all on a seamless and easy-to-use interface.
She adds that although CashBox encourages people to save at least 20% of their monthly income, this is not always possible in light of the economic situation of the country. However, there is a need to create a budget for your income and see what can be saved after settling all expenses.”
According to the 2015 report released by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, 90-per cent of banks’ total deposits were owned by only 2 percent of Nigerians. This shows the major divide between the rich and the poor in Nigeria as at 2018, CBN confirms that the Nigeria’s unbanked population stands at 37% and accordingly, there is a need to extend them this opportunity to enhance their financial stability.
Cashbox confirms that it has indeed identified that majority of Nigerians have savings difficulties and as such it tries as much as it can to help solve this problem.