Published in the Financial Mail. Liberty Life’s digital piggy bank Stash offers a simple, fun and fuss-free way to save. By Nafisa Akabor.

Liberty Life’s digital piggy bank Stash offers a simple, fun and fuss-free way to save. The app is a savings mechanism built on the principle of saving a small amount when a cardholder transacts.

Stash initially worked by reading text messages about card swipes from banks to help customers “stash” away an amount to the nearest R10 every time they ate out.

The app was recently re-skinned after a combination of changes to SA legislative privacy rules, customer feedback and Google not allowing apps to read SMSes.

Stash now offers a broader appeal, especially if you weren’t comfortable with bank SMSes being read by a third party.

It is also useful if you’re looking to kick-start 2020 with savings that are tax free up to R33,000 a year.

Registration takes less than two minutes, and involves linking a bank account to the Stash app, which is password protected and encrypted.

Fica registration is done directly on the app: you upload an ID and proof of address. For those without the latter, there is an option to e-mail the person you live with to provide this on your behalf.

The most enticing aspect of Stash is that there are no fees, admin charges or trading costs. Every rand that gets stashed will be invested in SA’s biggest companies, so your balance grows as they grow.

You can set saving parameters and amounts. For example, for sunny days, which are read from your weather app; for “sweat to save” when you reach fitness goals; or for an amount that can be chosen at any time — if, for instance, lunch plans are cancelled. Or you can send a sum at the end of the month if you have spare cash. Importantly, you are able to cap monthly savings to a predefined amount.

Each method can be paused and restarted at will, without contacting support services.

The colour-coded graphs are a nice touch — they provide information about money coming in, money going out and profit or loss.

Users can cash out only after Fica registration has been completed. The money goes directly into the linked bank account.

The app’s ease of use provides you with a way to save, whether it’s for a holiday, a handbag or a gadget, without feeling pressured to do it. Downloading the app is free.

Cool factor 5/5
Usability 4/5
Value for money 5/5

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