As kids, we knew it as “kolo” but the more exposed, well traveled among us called it a “piggy bank“. Semantics. Whether in a square shaped wooden box or a fancy rubber pig with a thin opening for squeezing naira notes in, the most important thing was that money was being saved. Later, our parents would collect the monies we had saved to open a bank account for us. (It was really hard to believe our money was being saved and we weren’t able to see it. Haha)
Fast forward a decade or more later, piggy banking has evolved into something digital and a bunch of smart thinking developers piggybacked (pun intended) on the concept and turned one of our favorite things to do as kids into a product – piggybank.ng. It is a platform that “empowers people through saving and particularly saving from your debit card”. While it accepts cards from all banks, piggybank.ng is into partnership with United Bank for Africa (UBA) and in operation, is quite similar to savings club on Paywithcapture and the savings feature on Alat. Both apps are also powered by major banks.
In the case of piggybank.ng, the process is as follows:
- Add your debit card
- Set how much you want to save
- Set how frequently you want to save
- Set a savings target
At the first stage of the registration process, you would be asked to save the sum of N100 which I guess is like the commitment fee. LOL. Then, you would be asked to enter your card details; full PIN, expiry date and CVV.
Once the platform accepts your card, you will then have to choose a verification method which is either a onetime password (OTP) or a hard token depending on the bank. Now, this seems like the most difficult stage because if the platform does not accept your card, you would not be able to proceed to the next stage.
Even though they state that the platform accepts cards from other banks, I tried my Diamond bank Visa card and it failed to register. GTB master card worked and only then was I able to proceed to the authorization stage. I chose the one-time password (OTP) option and impressively, it got delivered fast. Worthy of note is that the OTP lasts up to 10 minutes before it times out which is pretty cool compared to my Paywithcapture experience which either does not deliver or comes in late and times out within seconds.
Once your bank verifies your card, you are good to go.
The schedule only allows four(4) free withdrawals on chosen dates within a year, withdrawing outside any of these dates attracts a penalty.
It is also important to note that you cannot save less N1000 a week and N5000 a month.
A more impressive proposition compared to other similar platforms, I admit; but in a sector that is heavily regulated and (players) banks that are reactive to independent fintech solutions, how scalable is a platform like piggybankng?