Piggyvest: A Solution to Excessive Spending

Piggyvest is a trusted application that lets users save and invest money in Nigeria. The company started in 2016 as Piggybank before rebranding to Piggyvest on April 19, 2019.

Since its inception, PiggyVest has been able to help users save over one billion Naira monthly.

Headquartered in Lagos with a staff of 11-50 employees, The company serves over 350,000 users. Piggyvest was founded by Mr Joshua Chibueze, Mrs Odunayo Eweniyi and Somto Ifezue. The trio are graduates of covenant university, Otta.

Who is Piggyvest for?

Piggyvest is for anyone who wants to improve their saving habits.

Do you spend all your money and then begin to wonder what you used the money for? Piggyvest is for you.

If you find it hard to save money for projects, rents, starting a business, investments etc. You need to try Piggyvest.

Features of Piggyvest

Piggyvest has six features namely;

  1. Piggybank.
  2. Piggyflex.
  3. Safelock.
  4. Target.
  5. Flex Dollar
  6. Investify.

I will explain each of these features in the next paragraphs.

Safelock

Safelock is a feature that lets you lock money on Piggyvest until a given period that you set by yourself.

Once you have locked your money with the Piggyvest Safelock feature, you are paid interest instantly and you won’t have access to the funds until the given date that you set.

The Piggyvest interest rate for Safelock is 15.5% per annum and 43% if you are locking the funds for more than two years.

This is the best bet for you if you have a project you are saving towards and you don’t trust yourself to not spend the money with you.

Piggybank

The Piggybank feature works like the actual piggy bank in real life – a box with a small opening usually used by kids to save money. In Nigeria, it is called kolo. See the image below.

It is easy for you to put money into it but hard to get it out.

When you fund your Piggybank account, you can withdraw your money anytime you want. However, there are some situations to consider.

You can withdraw without extra charges only when you are withdrawing the money on a withdrawal free day. There are four withdrawal free days in a year by default. The default withdrawal free days are March 31st, June 30th, September 30th and December 31st.

Any withdrawals from your Piggybank outside any of the days mentioned above will attract a 2.5% breaking fee.

For example, if you are withdrawing 20,000 Naira from your piggybank, you will be charged 500 Naira only.

Target

Target is a feature on Piggyvest that lets you save money frequently for a certain goal. You can save alone or you can join a group of people saving for a common goal.

Let me give you an example;

If your house rent is 250,000 Naira yearly, you can set up a Piggyvest target to fund your target account with either 685 Naira daily, 4808 Naira weekly or 20,834 Naira monthly.

When you set up the target, money is debited from your bank account and credited into your Piggyvest target account based on the frequency and amount you have given.

You can set up targets for anything at all. There are public targets (anybody can join) of people saving to start a business, buy properties, pay for school fees or travel out of the country.

The Piggyvest interest rate for target saving is 10% per annum.

Flex Naira

The Flex naira feature on Piggyvest works exactly like a bank account. It has an account number domiciled with Providus bank Nigeria. With this account number, anyone in Nigeria can transfer money to your Piggyvest Flex account.

This is also where Piggyvest pays all your interests to; interests from Piggybank, Safelock, target, e.t.c.

You can send funds from your Flex account to other Piggyvest users or withdraw the funds to your bank account.

Flex Dollar

The value of the American dollar (USD) is more stable than the Nigerian Naira. In 2014, the Naira was exchanging for 165 Naira to a Dollar. Fast forward to April 2020, the Naira exchanges for about 420 Naira to a dollar.

With the Flex Dollar feature on Piggyvest, you can purchase dollars from Piggyvest and save it in your Flex Dollar account. This way, your money is safe from devaluation.

Piggyvest pays 6% per annum for the total amount in your Flex Dollar account.

You can withdraw the money from your Flex dollar account to your Domiciliary account.

Investify

Investify is the investment arm of Piggyvest. A registered company in Nigeria seeking funds can go to Piggyvest to apply. Piggyvest will carefully check if this company is suitable and reliable (I don’t know the criteria they use to check).

After making necessary confirmations, a new investment opportunity appears on the Piggyvest platform. Each investment opportunity shows the minimum amount you can invest, the duration of the investment and how much interest will be paid.

You can earn as high as 25% with the Piggyvest investify feature.

I have used the other features on Piggyvest but I haven’t tried investify yet.

Benefits of using Piggyvest to a Traditional Bank

Compared with using traditional Banks, Piggyvest has some advantages. Some of this benefits include;

Higher Interests

Piggyvest pays more interest than any commercial bank in Nigeria. Safelock works like a Fixed deposit account in a commercial bank. Piggyvest pays 15.5% annual interest and 43% if you are locking the money for more than two years while commercial banks pay lower interest rates.

No Miscellaneous Charges

No miscellaneous charges like SMS charges, card maintenance charges e.t.c. Commercial banks charge customers for SMS alerts and card maintenance to reduce cost of operation. 

Piggyvest sends all notifications via email and this is completely free. Also, you don’t need a debit card to operate a Piggyvest account so there are no card maintenance fees.

Encourages Saving Culture

It is easier to withdraw money from your bank account than it is on Piggyvest. Piggyvest makes it strict to withdraw money by putting strict measures in place. 

A normal savings account encourages you to spend money rather than save money.

Automate your Savings

You can set up your Piggyvest account to debit your ATM card and credit your Piggyvest account automatically on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Whenever the preset schedule reaches, the exact amount is automatically transferred from your Bank account to your Piggyvest account. All you have to do is to make sure the money is available in your bank account.

Easy to Invest

A lot of investment opportunities are available on the Piggyvest platform. All you need to do is to select one of them and enter the amount you want to invest. Once the investment matures, you can cash out.

Banks, on the other hand, invest with customers money and make a profit for themselves. They only inform you of a few offers like Treasury Bills.

How to Create a PiggyVest Account

Step 1: Visit Piggyvest using this link.

Step 2: Click on Create a Free Account.

Piggyvest Sign up

Step 3: Enter your name as it is on your Bank account, Email address, Phone number and password. Click on the create free account button to sign up.

Step 4: Piggyvest will send an email to the email address you provided. Login to the email and click on the confirmation link from Piggyvest.

Piggyvest email confirmation

Step 5: Log in to your Piggyvest account and click on Complete Account setup.

Step 6: Click on Add a Withdrawal account. Enter your account number, select your bank and verify.

Step 7: Click on Complete Account setup again.

Step 8: Click on “Connect your debit card”, enter your debit card details and click on pay. 100 Naira will be debited from your Bank account and sent to your Piggybank account.

Step 9: Go to settings and click add your BVN

Step 10: Enter your BVN number and click validate BVN.

Once you have completed step 10, you will get an account number domiciled with Providus Bank Nigeria.

Why does Piggyvest Need my BVN?

The Central Bank of Nigeria demands that any financial institution in Nigeria must request for Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) from its end-users to allow them to store or transfer money.

Piggyvest is regulated by CBN so they have to adhere to this policy.

My Experience with Piggyvest

I was an impulsive buyer. Anytime I have some money with me, I go to Amazon or Jumia to browse for a selection of gadgets – I really love gadgets. I end up buying things I don’t really need or replacing things that were still in perfect condition.

There was a time I got an Amazon HDMI cable for approximately 9,000 Naira (including shipping with Shoptomydoor). I needed this cable to work with my TLC TV and Samsung soundbar. The HDMI cable my colleague helped me get at Ikeja didn’t work with the TV.

I got pissed and bought it from Amazon for that price.

Few days after the item arrived, I remembered I could get that exact HDMI cord at shops that sell game consoles.

Although the Amazon HDMI cord worked, I could have gotten it cheaper if only I had thought of cheaper means and didn’t let my emotions get in the way.

This and many other kinds of impulsive buying has cost me a lot.

I needed to discipline myself to save money. The only way I could achieve this at that moment was to lock my money somewhere and not have access to it.

You know banks don’t really offer this feature, none that I knew of at that time.

Commercial banks have fixed deposits; a fixed deposit account allows you to invest your money with the bank within a certain period fixed by you.

But you know the problem with a fixed deposit? You could easily change your mind and walk up to the bank to demand your money.

They won’t hesitate to give it back to you. After all, it’s your money.

I wanted something that I could lock my money in and won’t be able to access it for a specific period no matter what happens.

Eventually, I thought of the popular thrift savings – We call it Ajo or Esusu in Nigeria. I have heard stories of people who don’t pay after they collect their own share of the pool.

I needed something more secure.

While in my dilemma of either going for the fixed deposit or àjọ, I saw an advert on Facebook about Piggyvest.

I signed up just to review the app and maybe write about it on the tech section of my school blog.

After a few days of testing the app, my eureka moment came.

Piggyvest was exactly what I wanted. It had the feature I craved for – a variety of features that would discipline me to save that extra cash.

I joined a group of people on Piggyvest (target group) saving 365 Naira everyday till December 18, 2019. The group had started saving on December 18, 2018 (exactly one year). Since I was joining in February 2019, I had to calculate the amount of money that had accumulated since December the previous year and fund that amount to the target group.

By December 18, I was able to save 200,000 Naira; 133,225 Naira from the target group I joined and 66,775 Naira from the extra money I was saving in my Piggybank (Piggybank is different from Target).

I promised I was going to save more in 2020. So by January, I began saving about 80% of the money I made from my business on Piggyvest. Once the money reaches 50,000 Naira, I Safelocked it so that I won’t be able to withdraw the money.

By March 2020, I was able to save a total of 512,000 in Safelock and over 200,000 Naira on Target and Piggybank.

Piggyvest safelock balance

I have been running this business before I knew about Piggyvest but I couldn’t save a dime. I always spent everything and begin to wonder what I used the money for.

Now I can re-invest this money into my business.

Conclusion

I lock monies for business and investment with Safelock then I use Target to schedule my house rent and educational expenses. You can copy this model too.

The most important thing is to save something. You can create a Monthly autosave in Piggyvest to credit your Piggybank with at least 10% of your monthly salary. Then move the money from your Piggybank to Safelock so that you won’t be able to withdraw it for a given period.

Don’t spend all you income.

When your money matures, you can use it to start a side business, invest or whatever reason you saved it for.

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