It is quite difficult to manage finances in this part of the world, especially as the country is hard enough, but it is not always impossible. Saving money protects you in a financial emergency, helps you pay for large purchases, reduces your financial stress, and gives you greater financial freedom.
But what happens when a currency decline affects your savings? It is common knowledge that the Naira, the currency of Nigeria, has long struggled against other foreign currencies. Earlier this year, one dollar was worth about ₦800. Also, there was the issue of the Naira scarcity that Nigerians endured.
Many Nigerians are already increasing their financial stability and independence by saving in US Dollars. The US Dollar has been among the strongest, most widely used, and most traded currencies on the foreign exchange market.
Here are four online platforms that allow Nigerians to save money in dollars. This article discusses their process, interest rates, pricing rates, withdrawal method, and ease of use.
Piggyvest is one of Nigeria’s most popular online saving and investment platforms. The app first launched as Piggybank, a savings-only platform and rebranded later to “PiggyVest,” offering direct investment opportunities to users in addition to savings. These investment opportunities allow its users to save in dollars and naira.
Registration: Users will need to download the app and set up an account to save money in dollars. Your BVN is required during the account creation process for verification purposes (you cannot use the same BVN for several accounts). After completing that, you log in and click the “savings” icon on the homepage to access a variety of savings choices, including a PiggyFlex account.
Interest rate: Your PiggyFlex account must already be credited before you may make any cash investments. Choose $Flex Dollar next; this choice enables you to save, invest, and transfer money in dollars with up to 7% annual interest and no fees for funding, transfers, or withdrawals. To proceed with this option, select “Fund my Flex Dollar”, enter the desired purchase amount, and then select “Preview” to see the conversion to naira.
Users can purchase as low as $1, which is a terrific starting point. So, after seeing the current price in naira, you confirm your purchase and credit your Flex Dollar account by choosing your PiggyFlex wallet account as your funding source. Now you’re ready to start spending and saving in dollars.
Withdrawal: You can send money to another user on PiggyVest with a minimum of $5 and a maximum of $1000 using their phone number, email address, or #piggylinkID. Withdrawals can be made anytime.
Registration: This is another popular app that helps you invest in dollars. To use the app, you must register and create an account. While the process might seem a little stressful, especially as it requests more specific information like ID, password, biometrics, and pin, this is very important for maximum security.
Once you have signed in, you will see your total balance and an “add money” section below it on the homepage. Select which currency you will wish to save in. There is the option of Nigerian Naira, US Dollar, and Crypto.
In this case, the dollar is our preferred currency. You must fund your wallet with your Naira debit/credit card. There is a funding limit of $50, but for users who wish to transact more, you might need to verify your email address to fund above $50 and guess what? Verification is also needed when you want to withdraw your transactions. This is probably why it did not ask for an email verification in the registration process.
For every $1 transaction made, the app charges $0.04 for a processing fee, so for a $50 transaction, it would cost $1.9 for a processing fee. During the payout, it automatically converts the amount you wish to buy to Naira.
Withdrawal: The app allows you to withdraw as many times as you want, so there is no withdrawal limit. The wallet interest rate is 8% per annum but accrued daily and automatically transferred to your wallet monthly.
This has got to be one of the most exciting apps to save money in dollars.
Registration: The registration process is seamless; simply input your BVN and biometrics and verify the email address you wish to use. This is just for security purposes, but that is not the fun part; you get some rewards in dollars for these activities. So, verifying your email address earns you $0.25, verifying your BVN rewards you with $0.25, and making your first deposit earns you $0.5.
After registering, click “Add money” and select Bank transfer. Type the amount you wish to buy, which the platform automatically converts to dollars. Once that is done, you preview the transaction and select “Buy Rate”. A unique virtual bank account is created, transfer the amount to the bank account, and it will automatically reflect in your Pillow account.
Interest rate: Now that you have money in your Pillow account, click the “Savings” button, Type how much you wish to save, preview and press “Confirm,” and that is all. The funds often take a while to reflect. The interest rate is based on tiered accounts. Under $500 investment has 8.42% base + 5.26% boosted i.e 13.68% per annum. Also, there are annual investment options with 10.14% interest for a year and 62.95% for five years.
Withdrawal: First, there is no maximum amount to deposit or withdraw. The withdrawal process is very simple. You must select which Nigerian bank account you want the funds from. Put in a verification code sent to your email address; that’s all. You can also withdraw at any time; there is no limit.
We all know Quidax as a cryptocurrency exchange platform, but the app is more than that. Do you know you can actually save in USD on the app?
Registration: Verification is smooth but not as simple as other platforms mentioned. There is a registration process that does not require so much information, maybe only a 4-digit pin. Then there is the verification process, basic and advanced verification. Here you need to submit an ID document and proof of address.
Without completing this process, you cannot access any services, including the dollar-saving option. Once you have passed through that hurdle, it is time to fund your Quidax account. You can do that with Naira or Crypto, depending on your preference. Then, Swap your Naira or crypto for USD, choose Fixed or Flexible savings, and start saving in USD.
Interest rate: There is no maximum amount; the minimum amount you can start with is ₦5,000. Also, saving in US Dollars (USD) on Quidax allows you to earn up interest per annum based on your saving option, which will be paid daily into your account. The annual interest rate on flexible savings is 7%, while fixed savings it has higher interest of up to 10% per annum.
Withdrawal: The platform also has an instant withdrawal method which means you just need to withdraw with the click of a button to your naira bank account anytime.
Be sure to check out these platforms and many more to know which you prefer. However, some of these apps and their investment services are held with regulated third parties and work with SEC-licensed trustees to provide oversight for their users.