In the midst of the global Corona pandemic, people aren’t just fearing for their physical well-being, but their financial health too. Yet as markets continue to crash and uncertainty reigns, one bank is offering its customers a rare bit of good news: “Despite the fact that the Reserve Bank has cut the benchmark interest rate by a considerable amount, TymeBank will honour their commitment to their customers and keep their interest rate unchanged at 10%,” announced TymeBank Chief Strategy Officer, Greg Illgner.
This is especially reassuring for those South Africans already taking advantage of TymeBank’s GoalSave savings tool; a free added service that allows customers to earn up to 10% interest per annum by simply putting their savings in a GoalSave pocket. For the rest of us, Greg has five tips for how to financially survive the current crisis:
According to Greg, now is not the time to make any rash decisions with your money. Leaving it in a savings account (especially one with a high interest rate) is the safest place it could be. “Your money is still very safe in the bank, there’s no need to withdraw it. South Africa’s banking industry is respected around the world. If you are with a well- regulated, Tier 1 bank, take comfort knowing that our business has been built for times like these.”
If you thought cash was king, think again.
Apart from the fact that cold, hard cash isn’t earning you any interest and is more vulnerable to theft or loss, it’s also not going to do you any favours in light of the Corona pandemic. “Wherever possible, pay for things using a card, rather than by physically handling cash that’s been touched by countless other hands,” advises Greg.
Make interest work for you, not the other way around
Greg suggests putting any money you can save into a savings account to earn interest, which he recognises is harder for some to do than others.
“Most South Africans don’t trust banks or interest rates because they’ve been bitten by both of them – by rogue debit orders, unexpectedly high credit card debt and extortionist loan repayment rates. But if you can get interest to work for you, you will be amazed at how your money can grow.
That’s why we’ve done all we can to give the best rates to the people who need it the most. From the first Rand our customers save, they earn 6%. After 30 days, this increases to 7%, and after 90 days, it increases once again, to 9%. The money is always available immediately, with no penalties, however, if customers are willing to wait ten days (or plan ahead), they’ll earn a bonus on top of their interest that takes the maximum interest they’ll earn up to 10%. No other savings account comes close.
To further reassure our customers and incentivise them to save more, we tally their accrued interest and add it to their savings account daily – not monthly. Many log on every day just to watch their money grow. Of course, they’re also able to take it out whenever they may need it.”
Beware of loans
Nobody knows for certain what the current crisis is going to do to our economy or to each of our own pockets, but Greg warns people to think twice before taking out any loans unless they really, really need to – especially given the flux in interest rates: “If you’re going to take out a loan, at least make sure it’s from a reputable institution.”
Remember what your true assets are
“We’ve always believed in the potential of people in South Africa, and at times such as this, more so than ever. Our collective resilience, our sense of humour, our remarkable ability to support one another when it counts and bounce back from anything… these are our real national assets,” says Greg, “And they really count in times like these. So be kind, don’t panic, be the best you can be – you’ve got this. We’re behind you every step of the way.”
TymeBank’s bold move to maintain their market-leading interest rate means that, unlike their competitors, they are prepared to take the hit themselves – instead of simply passing the buck onto the consumer. That’s a kind of corporate courage that’s rarely seen in today’s cut-throat world – about as rare as finding hand sanitizer on the shelves of your local grocery shop.