Group savings isn’t an alien act to Africans. For centuries we have come together as people, in our various communities, to gather our resources and work towards common goals. With this beautiful act, we have been able to write unique and beautiful stories that have helped changed the lives of many for the better.
Though this has been a good development tool, it has been fraught with various challenges. The challenges include fraud, inconsistent savings and the issue of inflation (in modern times) affecting the achievement of set goals. With the Cowrywise Circles, we have been able to tackle these challenges without taking away the essence of this beautiful tool.
In this guide, we explain the following:
1. How to set up a Circle
2. Collection Circles
3. Challenge Circles
4. Saving preferences of members
5. Maturity dates
6. One-time savings
How To Set Up A Group Savings Circle
1. Download the latest Cowrywise app.
2. If you don’t have an account, signup to create a free account.
3. As a new user, simply tap “Create A New Savings Plan” while as an old user you can tap “Actions” and then “Create A New Savings Plan”
4. Tap “Savings Circle” and choose between “Collections” and “Challenges”
5. Pick a befitting name. “Upcoming Billionaires” isn’t a bad one 😉
6. Set a target amount
7. Set the start and maturity dates
8. Invite the team to start building the dream with you.
Collections vs. Challenges
What Are Collections For?
Collections are ideal for group projects. Members can save into the group but only the admin or the group creator can withdraw funds on maturity. For the security of invested funds, all team members have to approve before the withdrawal of funds.
Who Can Use Collections?
Anyone can, but here’s our list on suggested use cases. Please note that the use of collections isn’t limited to these suggestions:
1. Group travels
2. Joint accounts for couples
3. Investment clubs
4. Old school associations
5. Family events
6. Charity campaigns
What Are Challenges For?
Challenges are ideal for motivating individual savings and investments in a group setting. Members can save and invest with the group and can withdraw their funds into their individual bank accounts on maturity.
Who Can Use Challenges?
Once again, we are here for everyone. Here are some suggested use cases:
1. Savings challenges for staff members. Are you a human resource pro? This is a good way to motivate improved savings habit within your company.
2. Savings challenges for family members and friends
1. What if someone joins the circle midway. When will the person’s savings/investments mature? The maturity date is group-based and not individual-based. Hence, maturity is subject to the date set by the creator.
2. What if we don’t meet the target amount before the maturity date? You can choose to either extend the maturity date or withdraw the funds you have built already, even if it didn’t meet the target amount.
3. What if some members want to save daily and some others weekly/monthly? Circles are flexible enough to allow members to set up individual preferences.
4. What if a member wants to top up randomly? All members can top up their contributions/savings at any time they want to. This can help them cover up for missed savings.
What would you be using the Cowrywise Circles for? Drop a comment to share your ideas with us. If you have any challenges, you can always reach out to us on Twitter, Instagram or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org