The recent decision by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to increase the interest rate to 6.25% will impact every sector of the economy, notably SMEs - many of which may not have the same stabilising infrastructure and contacts as bigger enterprises.
It is, however, possible for small and medium businesses to survive this economic challenge with careful planning and smart business decisions. The following advice could ensure that your SME maintains – or even boosts – its profits and customer base:
Limit your spending:
It’s common to underestimate the costs of buying, opening and maintaining another store or business, but in a weak economy this can be fatal. Rather focus on improving your current business to attract more customers.
Don’t skimp on marketing:
Try to become more visible to your consumer base, especially existing customers – success in this area could see you through a downturn.
Get the basics right:
All successful business owners have good financial management systems in place to keep up with invoicing, debtors and creditors, stock turnover, targets etc.
Sell unproductive assets:
If you have any assets that are not making money, consider selling them for cash or leasing them, and then use the money to increase productivity.
Plan your future:
A plan for future maintenance and growth is a great idea, especially if it includes thorough cash-flow forecasts that are regularly updated and studied, depending on prevailing economic conditions.
Though challenging economic periods naturally come and go, SMEs can modify and streamline their processes to make them more cost-effective.
For more information on how to start, manage and grow a small or medium enterprise, please visit our BizConnect site at http://bizconnect.standardbank.co.za/
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The festive season is traditionally the time of year when businesses, particularly those that are service focused, experience a boom. To make the most of the increased customer spending that is linked to the year-end holidays, SMEs can exercise the following five tips:
Plan for changing cash flow:
The holiday sales boom is, unfortunately, always followed by a slow beginning to the New Year. Examine your cash flow figures for the same period in 2014, estimate what you will make this year, and then try to you put away enough money to carry you through the quiet trading period to come.
Check your shelves:
Make an assessment of what sold well during the year and what didn’t. Take the slow-moving items off your shelves, discount them and place them where they can’t be missed as part of your ‘year-end sale’. Then check with your suppliers to boost stocks of the items that sold well, and also for new, attractive merchandise that may draw customers.
Up your marketing:
Promotions and special offers always attract customers, especially when they are twinned with convenience. Use signage outside and inside your store or business to draw attention to discounts, prize draws, product ‘bundles’, and even a gift-wrapping and delivery service.
Improve your staff’s selling skills:
Make sure that you have enough staff to cope with the holiday influx, and that they are fully clued-up on the products or services you offer. The more your employees know about your store’s items, the more effectively they will sell to customers.
Plan your January sale:
Getting an early start in January can boost an otherwise quiet month and help counteract a drop in cash flow. Think about offering New Year’s Day specials with discounts that will attract loyal - as well as new - customers. It is also a great way to get rid of excess stock left over from the festive season.
Implementing the above tips may take a little time and effort, but the potential rewards for small-business owners are worth it.
For more information that can help you manage your small or medium business effectively, visit http://www.standardbank.co.za/standardbank/Business/Starting-a-business . Our BizConnect portal also offers expert guidance, practical advice, a variety of tips and access to useful resources for those wishing to start, manage and grow their own businesses. To access, go to http://bizconnect.standardbank.co.za/
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It’s a well-established fact that raising a family is expensive – in fact, at the end of 2013 the government estimated that it costs R1.7 million to raise one child! However, with the right long-term planning and financial solutions, it is entirely possible to successfully budget for your children’s future.
Follow the three tips below to ensure that your children have the best chance at a stable, happy life:
1. Plan early: Even before you have children, putting money aside each month can make a huge difference. For example, if you save R600 per month at an interest rate of 9% for two years before you have a baby, and continue to save until the child is five, you will save R69 428.
Consider increasing the savings annually by at least the inflation rate.
2. Short-term savings: It’s a good idea to have some money in a short-term savings account, because there will always be unexpected expenses when you have children at school, such as excursion costs.
Money market accounts are ideal for this purpose, as you can access your money as soon as you need it.
3. Medium- to long-term savings: Education or endowment policies are recommended to secure your child’s educational and professional future. These policies are specifically designed for education and require you to save a specific amount each month. They also cannot be accessed easily and you will be penalised for cancelling the policy, which ensures a higher savings success rate.
All of the above products are available from your bank. As some may need a little management, consider speaking to a financial advisor – they can also work out a savings and investment plan to suit your needs and income.
For more information on our savings and investment acounts, please visit https://www.standardbank.co.za/standardbank/Personal/Banking/Savings-and-investments?cid=SO_yvd4j
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Most South Africans will be taking it easy over the holiday season, but one portion of the population that will be working as hard as ever are ATM scammers.
The festive season ATM scamsis traditionally big business for fraudsters; they know that many have received their yearly bonuses and are distracted by family festivities. Fortunately, preventing ATM scams from happening to you is simple when you know what to look for.
The most common forms of ATM crime:
1. Card swapping:
Criminals distract you while you are entering your PIN and then swap your card. This is done so quickly that very often you are unaware that you no longer have your own card.
2. Card skimming:
This typically involves tampering with an ATM by placing an additional card reader over the ATM’s. In conjunction with a hidden camera, the fraudsters steal your card details and PIN number.
ATMs are vandalised for two reasons:
To force you to use ATMs in poorly lit, quiet areas where it is easier to commit crime.
To trap your card in the ATM's card reader, giving you the impression that the machine has ‘swallowed’ your card.
Now that you can spot the crime, use the following five tips to keep your cash safe this holiday season:
Shield the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN into an ATM, and only enter your PIN when prompted by the ATM.
Keep your withdrawal limit to the minimum.
Never accept help from strangers, even if they say they are bank employees.
Only use ATMs in well-lit, high-traffic areas. If the lights aren't working, don't use that machine.
Make sure the card you get back from the ATM is yours. If it’s not, call your bank to cancel your card.
For more safety related information, or info on how to report fraud, go to http://www.securitycentre.standardbank.co.za/
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Receiving an end-of-year bonus opens up a lot of helpful financial opportunities, but most of us will be tempted to spend the money on gifts, gadgets and treats. But your bonus can be used to lighten the load of your financial obligations, if you follow some simple advice.
Of course, not everyone receives a bonus or 13th cheque, but the below tips can be used to make the most out of any cash ‘windfalls’ all year round:
1. Decrease the interest on your home loan: Interest on your home loan is calculated each day on the outstanding balance. If you place a lump sum of money into your home loan account, it will decrease your outstanding home loan amount, which will decrease the amount of interest you will need to pay.
For this reason, depositing your 13th cheque or bonus into your home loan account is a great, money-saving idea in the long term.
2. Reduce debt: If you have too many monthly accounts that are eating into your cash flow (such as clothing and furniture accounts), consider using your bonus to settle the debt and close them. This will free up income from monthly instalments and give you spare cash for savings or investments.
3. Renovate to boosts your home’s value Your home is probably the most valuable asset you will own, so why not boost its value by using your extra cash for maintenance and renovation?
4. Save and invest: If your debt is under control, you can use your bonus to increase your savings portfolio; any lump sum added to existing investments will have a positive impact on their growth.
5. Prepare for emergencies: Why not pre-pay some bills to buy you time in case of a financial emergency. For example, you could make an extra payment into your rates and taxes, bond or car.
For further help devising a secure and prosperous future, visit a financial advisor or visit our Website.
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The year has flown by and many of us are thinking about our holiday getaway. Besides accommodation, party planning and gifts for loved ones, one thing that should be on top of your to-do list is taking the steps to protect your most important assets – your car and house.
Theft, burglaries and car accidents increase during the festive season, and insurance companies require that policyholders go to a reasonable level protect their property. Making sure that your home and vehicle are protected is easy and relatively inexpensive, as demonstrated below:
Top five tips for homes:
Install an alarm system with radio-linked armed response and test it regularly.
Double check that you have locked every door and window before you leave.
Unplug all appliances not in use to prevent lighting/power surges and fires.
Do not leaves tools (ladders, spades) outside that can be used to break into your house.
Stop post and newspaper deliveries to your house, or ask a neighbour to collect them.
Top five tips for cars:
Ensure that your car and trailer (if you use one) are roadworthy and that your driver’s licence is valid.
Service your car regularly.
It is compulsory to carry a warning triangle with you, and wise to keep a toolkit in the boot.
Ensure that you have a spare wheel and tools to fit the spare.
Before you leave, check the aircon system, brakes, battery, tyres, fluids, lights and windscreen wipers.
Most insurance companies will require that the above steps are taken, or your claims may be disputed or rejected should you need to claim.
Your insurance is there to protect you in the case of unfortunate, unforeseeable events; keeping to the requirements will ensure peace of mind when all is well, and financial security when it is greatly needed.
To learn more about our Car and Home Insurance, please visit: Standard Bank website
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Much has been written about the traits and habits of the vastly wealthy, and how they amassed their wealth. But, if you do further research, you will find that the most affluent among us keep and grow their financial assets with the time-honoured, tested and completely doable methods of analysing their budgets and living beneath their means.
Below, we have listed the five best personal finance tips from the world’s wealthiest:
1. Start young: Carlos Slim Helú, a Mexican businessman who was ranked as the richest person in the world in 2007 and then again from 2010 to 2013, advises that the sooner you start managing, saving and investing your money - however limited - the better off you will be in your old age.
2. Live humbly: Nothing drains your wealth faster than living in a house that stretches your monthly budget to the max. In this situation, just one small financial hiccup can throw your budget into stress and force you to raid retirement funds. Billionaire Warren Buffet still lives in the same house he bought in 1957 for $31,500.
3. Distinguish needs from wants: Most personal finance tips stem from this bit of wisdom, and those who want to preserve their wealth would do well live by this maxim. For example, avoid buying the most expensive car you can afford, or needlessly upgrading it every year. Ingvar Kamprad of Ikea drives a 10-year-old Volvo, and Walmart billionaire Jim Walton drives a 15-year-old bakkie.
4. Insure against risks: Bankruptcy or other financial hardships can result from being unprepared in times of disaster, for example; the death or disability of the breadwinner can put a family under immense financial strain. Brett Wilder, qualified financial planner, author of The Quiet Millionaire and millionaire himself, advises consumers to protect against such risks through insurance to protect their wealth. However, he cautions that many people either fail to get adequate insurance or pay too much for it because they don’t understand it.
5. Budget, budget, budget: Self-made millionaire and blogger Jen Smith recommends tracking how much you spend each month to evaluate if you are living within your means and where you can cut back. Ms Smith also that maintaining a good credit score is fundamental to becoming and staying a millionaire. "A good credit score can save you thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime," she says.
In most cases, becoming a millionaire is a not about luck, it’s all about a measured approach to building wealth over time. Almost anyone earning a reasonable salary can become wealthy; it starts with making the decision to be proactive about your money and sticking to a plan.
With help managing your budget or creating a viable investment plan, speak to your financial advisor or visit http://www.standardbank.co.za/standardbank/Personal
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On 12 November the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa (DMASA) held the annual Assegai Awards that acknowledge and award those who deliver exceptional results for Direct Marketing campaigns.
We are proud to have won 6 awards for various Business Banking campaigns for Innovative Solutions, Integrated Marketing and Art Direction.
We are most proud to announce that we were awarded Brand of the Year for Standard Bank Business Banking. This award was based on various criteria including how we make a difference to our customers, employees and our industry and what we have achieved in the banking industry thus far.
The Assegai Awards represent a mark of victory in Direct Marketing Excellence and we are honoured to be part of a platform that aims for industry greatness. The awards highlight the best examples in South Africa from various industries and share up-to-date ideas and future trends.
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The holidays are just around the corner, and most South Africans are dreaming about that perfect festive getaway – however, many probably haven’t thought about how they will afford it, and so will rely on expensive credit when the time comes to pay those holiday season bills.
Luckily, this can be avoided with some forward planning. If you follow the below tips, you could be able to pay for your holiday with cash:
Consider your existing budget
Review your bank statement to see where you can cut costs and free up cash. For example, do you really need to eat out once a week?
Open a separate savings account
Transfer a set amount of money into this account each month, and make sure that the bank requires a notice period before allowing you access, as this will prevent impulse buys.
Calculate how much you need to save
By estimating the holiday’s cost, you will know how much to put away each week or month.
Save without spending
Schedule your holiday during off-peak seasons, consider all-inclusive packages, or make use of your bank’s rewards programme – these options can help you save substantially.
Sell unnecessary items
You’ll be surprised how much you can earn by selling your unwanted items. Go through each room in your home and collect as many as possible.
Use the ‘old money jar’
At the end of each day, put all your change in a container. Avoid exchanging the coins until you need the money, because you may be tempted to spend it before you reach your goal.
Only use your bank
Only withdraw from your bank, as withdrawing from others is more costly, and fees add up fast.
Look at the way you use your car
Frequent short trips can increase your petrol bill. Also consider downscaling if you have a big engine – this will save you thousands in petrol and insurance.
Stick with your current cellphone
If your current phone works, avoid upgrading to a new one or a new contract that costs a few extra hundred rands a month – this money could cover one more vacation day.
If you can’t afford a holiday even if you save, consider alternative ways to relax; remember that money spent on credit is borrowed and you will have to pay it back.
For more help reaching your savings goals, visit your nearest Standard Bank advisor. They will craft a strategy to suit your needs, ambitions and timeframe. Alternatively, you can read more about our Savings and Investments opportunities on our webisite.
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Most people know about credit and its uses, but few know and understand the intricacies of their credit report. This regularly updated, credit bureau-created record of your debt repayment is arguably one of the most important financial documents of your life; banks and other financial institutions use it to determine whether you are a good credit risk; in other words, whether you can repay your loans on time and with interest.
If you need to sort out your debt, or just streamline your finances and repayments, your credit report can be a useful tool. You are entitled to two free reports a year, but before you order them, you first need to understand each section:
This section lists your name, birth date, past and current address, employment information and ID number. Updates come from data you supply lenders.
Here you will find information relating to foreclosures, wage attachments, judgments and bankruptcies.
Payment profile information
This is the history of your credit repayment behaviour; all the accounts you ever had are listed and referred to as ‘lines’. Each line includes the creditor’s name and account number, the total loan amount, how much you still owe and how well you have paid, as well as other relevant data.
This is a list of everyone who has asked to see your credit report. Try to keep enquiries to a minimum, because too many give the impression that you are being financially irresponsible by ‘shopping’ for credit.
Once you have a copy of your credit report, review it for errors and judgments. Errors can be resolved quickly if reported to the bureau concerned, but a judgment means that you have not paid a debt and the creditor has gone to court for legal support. However, once the debt is repaid in full, the financial institution involved must remove the judgment.
If your credit record doesn’t look as stable as it should, or if you need help with repayments, don’t be afraid to approach your bank for assistance. Our professional, experienced debt counsellors will work out a plan to best suit your situation.
For more information, visit http://www.standardbank.co.za/standardbank/About-Us/Financial-Education/Credit-Health
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Since hitting the airwaves in 2013, Iketsetse Zenzele, Standard Bank’s multi-award winning radio drama remains as popular as ever among local radio audiences. Iketsetse Zenzele, combines the Tswana and Zulu expression meaning “Do it yourself”, teaches audiences about being more savvy with their banking.
The weekly series owes its success to the power of storytelling and listeners being able to resonate with the financial challenges as experienced by the fictional set of characters. For Standard Bank, radio provided the best medium to educate a mass audience on their offerings and products, and in a language of their choice.
Now in its third season, the series took top honours at the 2015 MTN Radio Awards. Last year the radio drama was recognised by the Radio Advertising Bureau of South Africa (RAB) for outstanding use of the radio medium.
In 2014 Iketsetse Zenzele also received Gold at the AMASA Awards for 'Best Integrated Campaign - Financial' for its innovative use of TV and radio soaps as well as Bronze at the Assegai Integrated Marketing Awards for ‘Most effective use of branded content’.
You can catch the multi-award winning Iketsetse Zenzele every Thursday between 16h00 and 18h00 on the following stations:
Munghana Lonene FM
Alternatively, you can catch up on all the episodes you may have missed here: https://soundcloud.com/standard-bank-sa/sets
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We are calling all ambitious, tech-minded disruptors to enter our Pathfinders Challenge. This open collective of innovators, inventors and idealists is dedicated to generating and perfecting the ideas that will revolutionise how the financial services industry interacts with the customer of the future.
Although we consistently drive, test and develop new concepts in-house, we are now inviting the public to participate in this process by presenting ideas, product demos or proven technologies that are designed to change or improve the financial services industry.
The 20 finalist “Pathfinders” stand a chance of winning a share of R500 000 in cash prizes, additional development and business support, dedicated coaching and mentoring, and the opportunity to commercialise and scale their solutions with help from Standard Bank.
Anyone with a viable idea can enter, not just established businesses; the Pathfinders Challenge encourages submissions in three categories:
For more information, FAQs, terms and conditions and to enter, please visit http://pathfinders.ideascale.com
Entries close at 23H59 on 31 October.
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In 2013, we launched WalletWise, a consumer education initiative aimed at empowering beneficiaries to plan, manage and make informed financial decisions. This was done through TV, radio, print, social media and face-to-face activities.
WalletWise with Noeleen is a series of 2-3 minute videos tackling financial topics of interest like Home Loans, credit, saving and budgeting.
These will be aired on SABC TV 1, 2 and 3, ETV, Mindset (OVHD) as well as on our social media platforms, providing financial information and tips to South Africans countrywide.
We are happy to partner with Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu given her impressive experience in the media industry and involvement in a show that highlighted various financial matters.
For more information, go to: http://www.standardbank.co.za/standardbank/About-Us/Financial-Education
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we acknowledge that South Africa is on par with the rest of the world when it comes to the prevalence of this life-challenging, but beatable disease. According to statistics, 1 in 29 South African women will develop breast cancer, and that number is set to rise. This is why we offer a flexible, comprehensive insurance policy for those fighting this illness.
Our Cancer Care Plan pays out a significant sum of R300 000 upon diagnosis, a surgery lump of up to R150 000 should the patient choose to have it, and a six-month recovery benefit of up to R10 000 per month. This affords those fighting the illness a feeling of control that is so essential during periods of psychological and physical uncertainty.
We believe that finances should be the last of your concerns when faced with a serious health crisis and therefore provide this solution so that you and your family can focus on health and healing with complete peace of mind.
For more information, please visit http://www.standardbank.co.za/standardbank/Personal/Insuring/Accident-&-health-insurance/Cancer-Care-Plan
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Dwelling on your mortality is never a fun way to pass the time, but if you have a family, chances are you’ll want to ensure that they’re well taken care of after you pass away. The best way to do this, of course, is through a will.
A will can ensure that your loved ones receive the assets that you want them to, rather than government trustees deciding who should get what and how much. But crafting a will is a complicated process, as simple mistakes can render it invalid or result in a loved one missing out financially. So, to avoid this happening and to secure your family’s financial future, remember these 10 basic rules:
Review your will every year to ensure it represents the most current state of your assets.
Your will must be in writing. This means it can be written by hand, typed or printed, but oral wills are not valid.
Include a residuary (‘leftovers’) clause to cover property that you don’t specifically mention in your will.
Plan a number of ‘what if’ scenarios and contingency plans with an attorney to protect your loved ones in any eventuality.
Use percentages (rather than rand amounts) so those who inherit from you still receive the same proportion of wealth, even if your estate’s worth fluctuates.
Give your attorney or trusted friend all the details about your finances. If not, your family may struggle to lay claim to assets you intended them to receive.
Sign your will in the presence of two witnesses. They must be 14 years old or older, of sound mind and they cannot be people who will benefit from your will.
Every page of the will must be signed directly under the last words of the page. This is to prevent anyone else from adding something later.
Any changes must be made in the presence of witnesses.
Store your will in a place your loved ones can easily locate, and give a copy to your executor (the person who will carry out your wishes) and another copy to a trusted friend or family member.
Though it may not be an easy one, once complete, the process of drafting a will can provide you with much peace of mind and relief; you can rest easy knowing that those you love will be protected and provided for when you are no longer around. You can also rest assured that you don’t have to attempt this process alone; if you feel you need professional guidance, please visit http://www.standardbank.co.za/standardbank/Personal/Investing/Wills,-estates-and-trusts/Wills-drafting
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Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in South Africa, and it’s easy to see why: it’s fast and convenient, and the steady growth in our country’s broadbrand capabilities has made it much more accessible. However, along with the surge in popularity of online shopping comes a surge in online fraud, a crime banks and other businesses have taken action to combat at every turn.
Enter Shepherd, a new system that is powered and supported by us and RAM Couriers, respectively. This online shopping solution provides a secure purchasing platform by holding consumer payments in a trust, delivering the goods from the seller to the potential buyer, and finally releasing the money to the seller once the terms of the deal have been met. The system greatly reduces the risk of fraud and also opens up the market to buyers and sellers across the country.
A small transaction fee is charged for the service, but the benefits of financial security and peace of mind far outweigh this cost. It’s fitting that we would partner with such a service; we are committed to delivering secure, convenient and easy banking platforms to our customers.
To find out more about this service can help to enhance and secure your online shopping experience, visit www.paywithshepherd.com
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In May this year, the pilot phase of our roll out of South Africa’s new smart ID cards went live. So far, it’s been a success and the future is looking bright for this public-private sector collaboration.
Since Government announced earlier this year that major banks planned to take applications for the country’s new ID, we have worked with the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that all requirements are met and all systems are in place to guarantee a successful pilot. Once the pilot is done and the live phase commences early in 2016, this service will be available to all customers at select branches.
Currently, two dedicated Home Affairs offices are operational at our Simmonds Street and Rosebank premises, and more will made available at our branches across the country as the operation is launched, increasing Home Affairs’ reach substantially and offering millions of South Africans outstanding convenience.
This new system will offer our customers immense efficiency and security; the entire process will be handled by the Home Affairs Depertment via dedicated offices at our branches, ensuring that consumer information is protected.
How to apply for a smart ID during the pilot phase:
Select customers will be invited by appointment to come and enrol for their new smart ID cards.
Photos, fingerprint verification and payment can all be done at our branch via the Home Affairs office.
Customers must collect their smart IDs in person, within 10 working days at our designated offices in Rosebank or Simmonds Street in Johannesburg.
Safety of personal information
Safety is a priority for both Standard Bank and the Department of Home Affairs, so customers can rest assured that all their banking information is protected. All applications for the new smart IDs will be processed by an official of the Department of Home Affairs, and our role is to process the payments as efficiently and securely as we always have.
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On 15 September 2015, Brand South Africa and Brand Finance Africa announced SA’s top 50 corporate brands. We are honoured to find that we are once again the highest rated financial institution, with a brand value of R17.5 billion. We have once again made it into the top five, roving that we are respected by investors, other businesses and consumers alike.
More than just a benchmark of the ‘most famous’ names for competitive corporates to measure themselves against, the annual study reveals that a significant number of the listed companies are well-placed and influential enough to positively impact South Africa’s development in many sectors, including banking.
According to Brand Finance Africa, this year’s top 50 brands are often the first point of contact between international consumers and South Africa. Efficient, friendly service; high-quality products and firm ethics help our nation to put its best face forward, contributing to positive perceptions about its values and goals.
As a proud African organisation with our roots in South Africa and our branches extending into the rest of the continent, we’re proud to uplift and support all those who - directly or indirectly - walk through our doors.
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As a company dedicated to customer convenience and personalised service, we are proud to announce the launch of our AlwaysOn Instant Messaging service. This latest addition to our array of digital solutions is made possible through our partnership with WeChat, a company with five million users in South Africa alone.
The goal of providing service via WeChat is not only to make banking easier for you – our Prestige and Private customer – but also to deliver unmatched levels of personal service.
The hassle of having limited contact with your bank, spending hours in a branch, countless minutes calling call centres or sending numerous emails is now a thing of the past: our new system is like adding your personal banker to your social media ‘friend list’ and having them available to you 24/7/365.. This adds another level of convenience and ease to your daily dealings with us and puts you in charge of how you bank – anytime, anywhere.
How to get it:
Click here http://standardbank.co.za/standardbank/Personal/Self-service-banking/Always-On?intcmp=home:1:retailbanking:1_sep:30_sep and follow the few simple steps to gain access to a team of virtual bankers – with the added benefit of 3GB of free WiFi, valid for three months, through AlwaysOn in AlwaysOn zones.
This collaboration with WeChat is another first for the banking industry, and we are confident that the solution will go beyond ‘traditional’ convenience and efficiency; helping to move you forward.
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Parenting is not for the unprepared. Many two-parent families struggle to keep up with the financial demands of parenthood, but single parents often have a more challenging time, since they may have to cope with a single income.
In light of this, we’ve compiled six tips that will help single parents keep their finances on track:
Budget: A budget is the first and most logical place to start, as it will help you keep up with your expenses and also show you where you can cut back to save money. Even drawing up a loose budget can keep expenses – and overspending – in check.
Plan for any eventuality: If you are your child’s sole financial support, it is vital that you have the following in place:
Serious illness cover.
The above tools will ensure that you have an income if you are unable to work or are retrenched, and - in the case of life cover – ensure that your family will be financially protected in the event of your passing. For more information, go to https://lifeinsurance.standardbank.co.za
Estate-planning documents are also essential. These include a will, the identification of guardians for your children and an executor of your estate. For professional help in this area, visit http://www.standardbank.co.za/standardbank/Personal/Investing/Wills,-estates-and-trusts
Review your financial information: If you’re divorced or widowed, your financial situation may change. See a financial planner to ensure your accounts and assets are registered under the correct names, and your beneficiaries have been changed, if needed.
Emergency stash: Financial advisors suggest that you have three to six months’ of expenses saved in an account that allows you fast access to your money. This will act as a ‘safety net’ for financial emergencies, like a burst geyser or bumper bashing.
Retirement savings: Single parents sometimes neglect to save adequately for retirement, because there are so many other demands on their finances. While it is tough to save on a limited budget, your retirement savings need serious consideration so you avoid becoming a burden on your children later in life.
Keep debt at bay: Use credit wisely and keep on top of the repayments to keep your credit record healthy. This will help you access finance for big purchases, like a house or car.
It’s not always easy to raise children as a single parent, but it can and has been done with great success. If you use the resources available to you – advice from your bank and financial planner – the end result can be financial stability and happy children.
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Once again, we are thrilled to be announced as the top retail bank in the annual Sunday Times Top Brands awards!
This is the third consecutive year that we have won the award, and to us, the reasons are clear. We believe our popularity is due our unwavering commitment to our customers and our relentless dedication to innovation.
It’s even more encouraging that the Sunday Times Top Brands Survey results are based on the views of consumers and business people.
The recognition from the people of South Africa confirms that our philosophy resonates and fits with theirs, and that our customer service initiatives address consumer needs.
Thank you for your vote of confidence! Together we move forward, we’ll be by your side every step of the way.
To open a current account with us, visit https://www.standardbank.co.za/standardbank/Personal/Banking/Current-accounts?cid=SO_RC5hf
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In our race to stay a step ahead of criminals, banks continue to evolve anti-fraud systems and processes, automating them wherever possible. No bank can say with absolute certainty that it is winning the race as fraudsters continuously come up with new ideas to part people and their money. Securing your money that we hold is a two-way street. You also have a role to play in helping to make sure that your money is out of reach of criminals while in our care.
Online, everyone who has an email address faces the risk of phishing, which is when criminals use emails and websites to elicit personal banking information that sometimes even includes personal identity numbers (PIN). Card skimming is when credit or debit card information is copied and a duplicate card made. These are just two of the countless ways criminals could employ.
There are many ways to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams and we have various systems in place that provide you with additional layers of protection. For example, making sure you sign up for MyUpdates SMSes and that you read them when they come through. To check whether you are signed up to the alerts, call us on 0860 123 107 weekdays (8am to 9pm) and weekends or public holidays (8am to 4pm). We also urge you to let us know when you are travelling overseas and plan to use your cards, so that we can help to detect anything out of the ordinary.
It is also important that you ensure that you immediately report any suspicious activity to us. Once you report it you will be told of the process from there on. An investigation can take unto 7 days to conclude, where the bank will share findings with you. The golden rule is; The sooner you report it the sooner we can investigate and possibly recover all or some of your money.
Standard Bank account holders can reach our Fraud helpdesk on 0800 222 050 or +27 11 299 4701. This line is open 24/7, every day of the year.
You can read more about the fraud activities we are aware of at www.standardbank.co.za/securebanking.
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With the aim of promoting networking and knowledge sharing among South Africa’s entrepreneurs and innovators, Standard Bank in collaboration with SAINe (the South African Innovation Network), hosted the SAINe Breakfast Event at the Standard Bank Incubator in Rosebank on 14 July 2015.
Standard Bank is committed to the growth of entrepreneurs and this goal is being steadily achieved through the Incubator that fast-tracks business growth with the structured acceleration modules delivered through the Ignitor programme (which focuses on assisting start-ups) and the Sw7 programme (which focuses on companies with established products and client bases). This breakfast formed part of Incubator’s approach to sharing knowledge and feedback with the participants of the Ignitor programme.
The event revealed four insights into what it takes to do more than survive as an entrepreneur; namely:
Networking is a vital part of the entrepreneurial process – it is important for businesses to talk to their fellow innovators. They could be the next big buyer of your product or service;
Corporates play a vital component for the success of entrepreneurs - together, they can build successful, sustainable job-creating businesses by helping enterprisers gain access to mentors, markets and knowledge;
Entrepreneurs must conduct market research and engage their chosen target market before they start building a business to ensure product/market fit - products or services must fulfil an important need, or offer a simple solution to a problem.
Sharing insights, the latest trends and opportunities with other like-minded businessmen and women is crucial for entrepreneurs because what they learn from each other could go a long way in developing their own businesses.
The Standard Bank Incubators go beyond networking; they also provide business training to entrepreneurs for market access and prototyping support, ensuring the sustainability of business ventures.
For an opportunity to participate in the Standard Bank Incubator or to be included in our database for future events, send an e-mail to [email protected]... View more
It’s Women’s Month and Standard Bank will certainly be singing the praise of women at The Standard Bank SA Top Women Awards!
The awards ceremony, to be hosted on the 6 th of August 2015 at Emperors Palace, is the country’s biggest and most prestigious women empowerment awards.
It honours women changing the face of business in South Africa along with the companies and government organisations that are positively shaping the role of women in business.
Nominees are rewarded for their outstanding and inspirational leadership, vision and innovation in empowering women in both the public and private sectors.
The nominees range from CEOs, executives, leaders in corporate to SMMEs, government agencies as well as entrepreneurs.
Now in its 12 th year, the awards initiative not only actively supports the cause of gender empowerment but is also a platform for female professionals to network with one another, profile themselves and research and promote gender empowerment issues in their own industries.
Standard Bank SA is passionate about supporting gender empowerment and seeing women make real progress in business. Winners and finalists of previous years have not only earned the respect of industry peers but have also established themselves as leaders in best practice initiatives that support and address South Africa’s socio-economic development.
In 2014 Nonkululeko Gobodo, Chairperson of SizweNtsalubaGobodo, Southern Africa’s largest black owned accounting firm, was recognised as the Top Businesswoman of the Year. SizweNtsalubaGobodo also took top honours as the Top Gender Empowered Company: Financial Award.
This year’s contenders for Top Businesswoman of the Year include:
PPC CEMENT – Busi Legodi ASPEN PHARMA – Lorraine Hill SUPERTECH DURBAN – Farida Tayob BUSINESS CONNEXION – Vanessa Olver TRANSMAN – Angela Dick HAVAS WORLDWIDE – Lynn Madeley HIRSCH’S – Margaret Grant-Hirsch ICT-WORKS – Xoliswa Kakana CTICC – Julie-May Ellingson
To see more of the SA Top Woman Award 2015 nominations list, go to http://topwomenawards.co.za/2015-finalists/
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With July being National Savings Month in South Africa, it might be the right time to make sure you’re transacting in the most cost-effective way possible. Unnecessary fees add up, and cutting back on, or eliminating them completely can save you a stack of cash in the long-term. Luckily, there are a number of innovative digital banking channels that can help you do exactly that.
It costs a fee to withdraw cash at a branch or ATM, and you will also be charged to view your account balances and transaction history should you do so at these facilities. So, to stem the tide of wayward rands and to remove cash from your daily activities, exploit the advantages of the latest digital banking channels.
Most well-known and effective of these are online banking, cellphone banking and mobile apps.
Advantages of electronic banking:
No subscription fees
Bank anytime, anywhere
Greater security – you don’t have to compromise your safety by carrying large sums of cash
Convenience - access business and personal accounts, and insurance, wealth management and stockbroking activities in one go.
All these electronic channels are there to help you; we want to empower you to better manage your own money and so make it work even harder to build your future.
For more information on Digital Banking Channels and how they can save you money, please visit our website on Self service banking
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In celebration of Mandela Day and the achievements of the late former president, our Kimberley branch paid it forward on 18 July by supporting Lerato Place of Safety in Galeshewe, an institution that houses vulnerable children aged seven to 18.
Bank employees and partners provided a day of fun, entertainment, culture and learning for the children with an aerobics show, a talent show, a maths and science programme, and an art exhibition. Of course, the day was also used as an opportunity to provide the home with much-needed amenities – such as television sets and microwaves for the living areas – a tradition that goes back two years, when we adopted the home.
Since 2013, we have provided Lerato Place of Safety with the following:
A new coat of paint in the living room
It was Mandela who said, “Society should be judged by the way it treats its children.” Keeping this in mind, we will continue to do our utmost to support and uplift disadvantaged children to prove that we are a society dedicated to moving our people and country forward.
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While the whirlwind event of the National Arts Festival may have come and gone, the memorable and entertaining performances are still the talk of Grahamstown.
The 11 day arts fest, was indeed a top class show of dance, theatre, comedy, film, opera and of course jazz. Here’s a quick round-up of the main attractions of this year’s National Arts Festival.
Local and international jazz acts set the stage on fire in Grahamstown this year. Benin guitarist Lionel Loueke got crowds to their feet and calls for an encore. While local talents Nduduzo Makhathini, Bokani Dyer, Kesivan Naidoo, Concorde Nkabinde, Benjamin Jephta, Thandi Ntuli, Carlo Bombelli and the Storytellers, Ray Phiri, The Kyle Shepard Trio, Auriol Hays and Lindiwe Maxolo also wowed and delighted the jazz-loving crowds.
Let’s not forget pop band Beatenberg and house trio Micasa.
The Standard Bank Youth Jazz Festival was a abuzz with talented young musicians. The talent of hopefuls were amazing to watch as they competed for a spot in the Standard Bank Youth Jazz Band. Eventually only eight youngsters were selected. The judges had to choose from a pool of eager and serious youngsters and it made it really hard to decide who would make the cut.
The Standard Bank Rhythm Booth was yet another hit with music lovers featuring impromptu performances by local artists. Music lovers also experienced the Oculus Rift - a device that uses digital technology to provide an enhanced experience of the musical performances. User’s had their heart rate measured to test their body’s reaction to the music. It was proven beyond a doubt that the closer you are the music the more you feel.
A Portrait of Myself as My Father, choreographed by Zimbabwean-born New Yorker, Nora Chipaumire delivered a fresh and energetic dance narrative about African masculinity. It looked at the African man as defined and impacted by cultural traditions, colonialism, religion and liberation struggles.
History Will Break your HeartExhibit by reigning Standard Bank Young Artist of The Year for Visual Art, Kemang Wa Lehulere was themed on the life stories of two inspiring and historic South African artists. The one is Ernest Mancoba who died in Paris having had an immensely successful career as an artist. He was a co-architect of the avant-garde art movement in France and a visionary abstract painter. The other is Gladys Mgundlandlu who was one of the first black female painters to ever be exhibited in South Africa. They both seem to have been forgotten by the local art public since passing on.
The Elder of Azania left audiences mystified and captivated all at once. It was presented by Athi-Patra Ruga, the winner of the 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Performance Art. The unworldly spectacle of colour is meant to disrupt and bring attention to issues of racism, gender and sexual identity.
Siva (Seven),the dance piece by the reigning Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance, Luyanda Sidiya explored the notion of going home to revisit and define one’s spirituality. The dance was based on ritual themed movements while the costumes depicted the elements of fire, water, earth and wind.
The National Arts Festival 2015 concluded with the announcement of the Standard Bank Fringe Ovation Award winners - a celebration and recognition of the best productions to feature on the festival’s Fringe programme. The Standard Bank Fringe Ovation Awards is regarded as a credible reward for productions that raise the bar on excellence. There was certainly a high standard of creative quality on the Fringe. Gold Ovation Awards went to jazz vocalist, Asanda Mqiki and theatre productions –El Blanco: Tales of the Mariachi and Jonny Boskak is Feeling Funny for their creative, experimental and innovation work. Silver Ovation Awards went to the following theatre productions: A Man and a Dog, We Didn’t Come to Hell for Croissants, Morwa the Rising Sun, Kafke’s Ape and Father, Father, Father. Dance and music acts, Barbed Wire Wallpaper and Hatchetman also won Silver.
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Standard Bank Young Artist Winners Nduduzo Makhathini and Luyanda Sidiya wow at the National Arts Festival
While Joburg-based jazz pianist Ndudzo Makhathini paid tribute to his musical heroes, dancer, choreographer and Vaal Triangle native Luyanda Sidiya explored the concept of going home at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
The 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz Nduduzo Makhathini’s second and final show at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival made a case for jazz as more than musical entertainment. Song, as it is understood in the star pianist’s home language, isiZulu is called ngoma, the same word that is used to refer to healers: aboNgoma.
Makhathini who sat at the piano to lead his six-piece band, dedicated his night of glory to his musical heroes. The first is Bheki Mseleku, the late composer and pianist from whom Makhathini drew constant inspiration. The other is MacCoy Tyner, the African-Pianist and composer who formed part of John Coltrane’s classic quartet. The two jazz elders made a name for themselves by exploring spirituality through their musical practices.
This quality was evident in the hall as the band’s chemistry lifted audiences in a shared communion of music. Drummer Kesivan Naidoo dealt gems with every crashing cymbal and cracking snare. The musical empathy he shared with Makhathini came to life in a call and response game played with a rare dexterity that sent trumpeter, Sakhile Simani into such ecstasy that he needed a bit of jolting from an amused Mark Fransman on tenor. The repertoire comprised a collection of tunes from three of Makhathini’s albums, Mother Tongue and Sketches of Tomorrow, with the lion’s share of the selection coming from Listening to the Ground.
The spiritual theme continued on the dance stage with Siva (Seven), the dance piece by the reigning Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance, Luyanda Sidiya. The dance’s narrative explores the idea of “a home” as a site of spiritual sustenance. The choreography is meant in part to implore audiences to think of notions of going home or returning home from any kind of wilderness – real and imagined – as a metaphor for returning to the source of life, or return to the divine god.
In his artistic statement, he points out that “as human beings tangled in our own disorder, disruption, and disassociation, we constantly yearn for that which guides us to completeness, to oneness. We are in a constant search for within ourselves, in others, and all around us, for connectedness and place.” To illustrate this existential search, Sidiya’s choreography employs music, ritual themed movement and monologues derived from scripture. The set, along with the costumes designed by Veronica Shem, drew on the four of elements, fire, water, earth and wind to code ideas of life at its most basic manifestation.
Follow @StandardBankArt on Twitter for the latest #NAF2015 highlights. The National Arts Festival runs from the 2 to 12 July 2015
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TheNational Arts Festival 2015 (NAF) opened to throngs of enthusiastic music and art lovers eager to take full advantage of the festival’s opening weekend programme. Here is a round-up of some of the highlights.
Lionel Loueke , the talented Benin guitarist’s much anticipated performance received thunderous applause and calls for an encore. Lionel Loueke, who is based in New-York, played to a packed DSG Hall and was the first international act to take the stage at the 2015 Standard Bank National Jazz Festival. His game-changing solo showcasing singing and chanting, deeply rooted in ancient Benin culture, left the audience captivated. Loueke was also joined on stage by bassist Concord Nkabinde, who is well-known as the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Jazz in 2006. Together they brought down the house with their thrilling duet.
Lionel Loueke’s collaborative performance with four top South African jazz musicians was another treat. With Loueke on guitar, Marcus Waytt on trumpet, Shane Cooper on bass, Ayanda Sikade on drums and Siya Makh u zeni on vocals, the band gave the audience an unforgettable music experience.
Benjamin Jephta , bassist and composer presented music from his latest album, Homecoming. Formerly from Cape Town but now based in Johannesburg, Jephta’s set included drummer Sphelelo Mazibuko, Sisonke Xonti on tenor sax, Marcus Wyatt on trumpet and the 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Kyle Shepherd on piano. His music revealed his journey of discovering jazz. In his repertoire, he dedicated compositions to elder jazz musicians like Feya Faku and Carlo Mombelli for inspiring him to be a jazz artist.
The Standard Bank Rhythm Booth featuring impromptu performances by local artists is fast-gaining popularity amongst festival-goers. Pianist, Nduduzo Makhathini, singer Nomfundo Xaluva and Concord Nkabinde among others have taken to the stage.
Music lovers have also been invited to use the Oculus Rift at the Standard Bank Rhythm Booth. It’s a device that uses digital technology to provide an enhanced experience of the musical performances. As the user enjoys the show, their heart rate is measured to test their body’s reaction to the music. This proves without doubt that the music is best enjoyed live, because: the closer people are to a performance, the more they feel.
A Portrait of Myself as My Father is choreographed by Zimbabwean-born New Yorker, Nora Chipaumire. She and her Zimbabwean dance troupe delivered a fresh and energetic dance narrative about African masculinity as defined and impacted by cultural traditions, colonialism, religion and liberation struggles.
Masculine mannerisms like the puffed chest, proud folded arms and stomping feet of self-assuredness are commonplace in this choreography. The movement also draws inspiration from traditional warrior dances and military training exercises and is set to a mix of urban Zimbabwean beats and Chimurenga music – a reference to Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle songs.
History Will Break your Heart is the solo exhibit of reigning Standard Bank Young Artist of The Y ear for V isual Art, Kemang Wa Lehulere. His work weaves in the life stories of two inspiring and historic South African artists. The one is Ernest Mancoba who died in Paris having had an immensely successful career as an artist. He was a co-architect of the avant-garde art movement in France and a visionary abstract painter. The other is Gladys Mgundlandlu who was one of the first black female painters to ever be exhibited in South Africa. They both seem to have been forgotten by the local art public since passing on.
The exhibition includes a rare interview with Mancoba before he died. There is an interview with Lehulere’s aunt who knew Mgundlandlu as a child as well as an interview with an art restorer who was enlisted to uncover murals in Mgudlandlu’s former home in Gugulethu, Cape Town. One of the installations includes the late painter’s landscape paintings. Soon after winning the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award, Lehulere heard Mgundlandlu’s work was going on auction in London. He bought the paintings and has now used them as a material element of his own work. Lehulere has brought an almost forgotten artist back into public focus and reclaims her memory for a younger generation of artists and art lovers alike.
The Elder of Azania is presented by Athi-Patra Ruga, the winner of the 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Performance Art. The unworldly spectacle is an instalment belonging to a larger body of work titled “The Future White Women of Azania” that explores the body in relation to structure, ideology and politics.
Audiences are immersed into an imagined world of colour that is meant to disrupt and bring attention to issues of racism, gender and sexual identity. This is one is a feast for the eyes.
The Children’s Art Festival is also underway with primary school pupils from around Grahamstown participating in various shows and art activities. At regular intervals a select group of these talented youngsters take part in the Standard Bank Art Workshop for children. This includes a painting competition where they listen to a selection of classic jazz hits and are asked to create a visual impression of the music.
Follow @StandardBankArt on Twitter for the latest #NAF2015 highlights. The National Arts Festival runs from the 2 to 12 July 2015.
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The spirit of entrepreneurship through the use of rare skills and creating innovative business relationships is alive and well in South Africa. This is attested to by the winners of South Africa’s unique The Growth Engines TV series, which saw their ability to provide innovative solutions across the ‘big business/SME divide’ worth nearly R1 million.
Showcasing the innovation driven through collaboration between big and small business, The Growth Engines featured success to inspire others about a future world of doing business in South Africa and abroad.
The Standard Bank-supported series, presented by Pavlo Phitidis on Business Day TV, underlined the effectiveness of large companies and their SME suppliers working together to deliver specialised skills to meet business and client needs. It also highlighted the ingenuity and can-do spirit of entrepreneurs posed with challenges to produce world-class solutions for the benefit of South Africans.
Of the 34 worthy businesses featured in the series, winners in three categories were selected.
Innovation and Strategy category: GridCars with BMWi
GridCars came up with a solution for BMW’s electrically driven cars that alerted when the cars needed to be refueled, closest plug in points, pre-booking refueling with an electronic payment system.
Innovation and Cost category: Qrent with the Discovery Group
Qrent delivered a cost saving solution to Discovery offering them refurbished desktop machines saving them approximately R30 million.
Innovation and Value category: The Bespoke Amenities Co. with the Legacy Hotel Group
The Bespoke Amenities Co. displayed its innovative spirit by manufacturing its own range of products of soaps, shampoos lotions and other hotel toiletries, for the Legacy Hotel Group.
To view previous episodes and in-depth articles on themes explored on The Growth Engines, log on at bizconnect.standardbank.co.za
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