Oct 07, 2019

Liberty’s tax-free investment app, Stash, reskinned to meet clients' needs

Article by Liberty

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Stash is an app by Liberty that allows clients to save and invest - as simple as updating your social media status.

When Stash was first launched, it was a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Glenn Grimley, Chief Specialist: Ecosystem Products at Liberty says: "Our aim was to launch an investment App with just enough features to satisfy early customers in order to gather their feedback. This feedback drives new development, functionality and usability of Stash and Liberty is able to co-create a better proposition with our customers."

The initial value proposition used your bank's transactional SMSs to detect every swipe of your debit, credit or cheque card. It used this data to then round up the purchase value to the nearest R10 and collected the spare change, which was invested in a tax-free savings account. However, changes to Google's global privacy policy have prevented the App from being able to detect SMSs, which resulted in changes being made to the way the app determines how much money customers choose to invest.

Grimley explains, "In addition to adhering to South African legislative privacy rules and Google's new privacy policies, we also paid close attention to feedback from Stash customers. People wanted to see how much they were investing and how their investment performed over time. Our customers also wanted new ways to determine when to invest while having full control over how much they stashed each month. We've listened to our customers' feedback, building new functionality off the back of it and reskinned the App to provide a user friendly and effective User Interface (UI)."

Unique features on the Stash App

Stash is free - There are no fees, admin charges or trading costs. This means that every cent that is invested in Stash remains invested to achieve maximum growth.

Stash every day - Just like piggy banks of the past, Stash allows you to put away small amounts every day, which adds up over time. Unlike a piggy bank though, your spare change is now invested in South Africa's biggest companies and will grow with them as they grow.

Sunny Money - Everyday, Stash checks the weather in your area. If it's a sunny day, you stash your spare change. If it's overcast - you don't.

Sweat - Link your Stash app to your fitness application on your phone and Stash 5 cents for every 20 calories you burn, 100 meters you walk and 100 steps that you take.

Stash Tap - Didn't have time for your daily cappuccino? Friend cancelled lunch at the last moment? Invest that spare cash by simply tapping a button on the app.

Boost - If you find a little extra money in your bank account at the end of the month, you can boost the amount you've stashed by up to R1,000.

"Stash allows customers to have full control over how much they invest every day.  Each feature can be paused, stopped and re-started directly in the App at any time. No changes to debit orders, frustrating calls to your bank or forms to fill out." explains Grimley.

Accessing your Stash is just as easy. Once you have been FICA'd, which is done via the App, you can cash out whenever you need your money. There are no complicated cash out rules, no early withdrawal charges or delays. Money is cashed out to the same linked bank card from which your contributions are made.

Best of all, Stash is classified as a tax-free investment account, which means you don't pay any tax on your Stash investment. You can contribute up to R33,000 per year and up to R500,000 over your lifetime into this tax-free investment. All the capital growth and investment returns, no matter how big, is tax free, further maximising the value of your investment over time.

Grimley concludes, "Downloading Stash is easy. You can find it on the Apple AppStore or get it on Google Play. Signing up to Stash takes less than 90 seconds. There are no forms, no fees and no tax. You have full control over how much you stash. Stash makes investing as easy as possible for you."

With more than 50,000 downloads, 45,000 users, 175,000 investment transactions per month and more than R70 million in investments so far, this is a great reason for anyone to start stashing their spare change today.

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