What is a Cheque Limit Reduction?
Reduction of the amount on cheques accepted or issued at the bank from R500 000 to
When is the change effective?
1 May 2020.
What if I have a cheque issued before 1 May 2020? Will the bank accept the deposit or cash it?
The bank will not issue, deposit or cash cheques or amounts over R50 000 from 1 May 2020, regardless of the date of issue.
Will other banks issue, deposit or cash cheques over R50 000?
No, other banks will not process cheques over R50 000 as this is an industry regulatory change.
Can the bank issue split cheques to me if an investment of mine over R50 000 has matured and I don’t have a transactional account?
No, we will not issue split cheques on the same date where an amount due to you exceeds R50 000. You will have to provide us with an account into which we can deposit your funds, or we will have to provide you with cash. However, a cash payment is not recommended as it could put you at risk of robbery.
What if I have made an ATM cheque deposit of more than R50 000?
All cheques of over R50 000 deposited at our ATMs and received after 1 May 2020 will be returned to you unpaid.
We have invested in a Stokvel or Society Scheme and we are 30 members. Our investment has matured and its over R50 000. What do we do to get our pay-out?
You must provide us with an account into which we can deposit your funds, or we will have to provide you with cash, which is not recommended as cash could put you at risk of robbery.
Will there be fees for transferring my portion of the investment from our Stokvel or Society Scheme to another bank?
Yes, all existing fees and terms and conditions are applicable.
What other options are available?
The following Digital Banking platforms are available 24/7:
The Mobile Banking App.
The Immediate Payment service,
where funds will be available
The Internet Banking Platform .
The Business Online Platform for bulk business payments.
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Here are 7 things you can start doing today that will make your more employable once you graduate and enter a highly competitive marketplace.
It’s the conundrum that all students face: To land a great job it helps to have a track record, but in order to build a great track record you need a good job. Here’s how you can start building your profile before you secure your first job – and increase your chances of securing that dream position in the process:
Sell your skills online
Some of the world’s most successful teenagers, from across the globe, are proving that we all have skills that we can offer online.
If you have a reliable Internet connection and a computer, you can list your skills on a host of online gig economy websites, including Fiverr and Upwork. If you have specialised knowledge that your peers do not, you can also start a Youtube channel sharing your insights.
Volunteer your time
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of NGOs, churches and local community organisations that could benefit from the donation of your time.
When you start volunteering for a cause that’s close to your heart, you’re showing prospective employers your values and your ability to take on a responsibility.
You’ll also benefit from the work experience and working in a team, and be able to ask for endorsements and references that you would normally only be able to obtain from an employer.
Ask your network for endorsements
When you apply for a job – even if it’s an unpaid volunteering position or internship – you want to highlight who you are, your character and your values.
Including letters of recommendation in your CV from your school, teachers, college or university professors and part-time employers is an excellent way to provide social proof that you are who you say you are.
In a digitally transformed world, you have more access to free and inexpensive courses than ever before. From quick learning offered by platforms such as Udemy, to university-level training offered by platforms such as Coursera, that offers many courses for free, you can make use of any spare time you have to enhance your skills.
Consider your current qualifications, where your gaps lie and how you could enhance your skills with additional courses to become more attractive to an employer.
You will also be demonstrating to any prospective employers that you are interested in self-development and will continue to improve your knowledge and skills as an employee.
Ensure you are digitally literate
No matter what industry you are interested in or what your field of expertise is, digital skills are a must-have. If you want to enhance your career in today’s tech-driven world, you not only need to know how to use a computer and the Internet, but how digital solutions are shaping everything in our lives, from how we communicate to how we do business.
The problem is that 80% of South Africans are still not digitally literate – which gives you a huge advantage over your peers.
Standard Bank has partnered with Microsoft and Pioneering Solutions Studio to offer free online digital literacy training to all South Africans. Learners have free access to the Microsoft Digital Literacy course and receive a Microsoft certificate when they successfully complete the programme.
Present yourself like a professional
You might be fresh out of varsity, but if you want to land a job you need to act the part. Consider it from an employer’s perspective. Are they more likely to read a CV that is clear and to the point, or one that is messy and difficult to understand? What about how you present yourself in an interview? What do you think will look more professional, arriving in a collared shirt and slacks, or jeans and sneakers?
Remember, how we present ourselves is unconsciously sending signals about or skills and expertise, so you want to put your best foot forward. This includes how you respond to emails and text messages. Sloppy writing with spelling errors and abbreviations does not impress.
Display a ‘can do’ attitude
Many employers today hire based on attitude and train for skill. Yes, depending on the position a degree might be important, but if a company has the choice between two candidates with similar skills, the candidate who displays a positive attitude and strong work ethic will get the job.
Most employers today realise that it’s very difficult to change someone’s attitude, but you can help them to improve their skills. Even more important, positive people tend to be the employees who want to increase their skills anyway.
Practice thinking about things in a positive light and focusing on how you can add value to any and every situation, and you’ll start developing a winning mindset that is valuable to every employer.
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We’re living through uncertain times fueled by anxiety. Here are some proven stress relievers to help keep you calm and centered.
Covid-19 has thrown our world into chaos. Everywhere we turn is uncertainty. The good news is that while you can’t control what happens over the next few months, you can follow these simple steps to relieve your stress and anxiety and boost your positivity. The science proves it.
Wake up earlier
Working from home brings its own stresses, particularly with kids, partners and pets thrown into the mix. If you feel like you aren’t being productive enough during the day and this is adding to your anxiety, then becoming an early riser might alleviate some tension.
Start by setting your alarm an hour earlier each morning, with the goal to eventually get up two hours before anyone else in your household. It’s incredible how much you can get done in the quiet, early hours of the morning.
And the best part? Not only will this relieve your stress, but you’ll be free to spend more time with your family, on exercising or even meditating later in the day.
The science: According to a study conducted by biologist Christoph Randler and outline in the Harvard Business Review, early risers get further in their careers, perform better at the jobs and earn more than their late-riser colleagues.
‘WOOP’ it up
We’ve all been exposed to mantras and programmes that celebrate the power of positive thinking. According to the science however, simply thinking positively isn’t enough. Here’s the problem: while picturing your wishes coming true might make you feel better in the short term, it doesn’t make you put any real effort into achieving those dreams – you’re already feeling better, for now at least.
Focusing on all the challenges you’re facing isn’t helpful either, and will most likely send you into a stress spiral.
According to New York University professor Gabriele Oettingen in an article published in the Harvard Business Review, the answer lies in a mental contrasting tool that she calls ‘WOOP’, for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.
Here’s how it works. Shut your eyes and imagine your wish coming true for a few minutes. You’re feeling happier already, which is why the next step is so important. You need to imagine the main obstacle standing in your way. What’s stopping you? Now that you’re back to earth, you can visualise the action you will take if (and when) that barrier presents itself. This prepares you to physically take the action, overcoming your obstacles and decreasing your stress levels because you have a plan of action.
The science: According to Oettingen, a study that compared health care providers who used WOOP against a control group, found that people who use mental contrasting are significantly more engaged with their work and less stressed than their counterparts.
Stretch it out
Progressive relaxation is the practice of tensing and releasing every muscle in the body, from your fingers and toes through to your arms, legs, chest, back and neck. Releasing the tension in your muscles relaxes your body, and once your body is relaxed the mind will follow.
The science: According to Harvard Medical School, research reveals that progressive relaxation helps ease anxiety and calm the nerves. It also boosts your awareness of your mind-body connection.
According to the Harvard Medical School, breath control calms the body and can be done anywhere and anytime that you’re feeling increased levels of stress and anxiety.
To begin, sit or lie comfortably (depending on where you are) and close your eyes. Breathe deeply through your nose and count ‘one’. Exhale while you think the word, ‘relax’.
Repeat this action for the count of ten. If you’re currently experiencing increased levels of stress, you should do this exercise at least two or three times a day.
The science: According to Harvard Medical School, deep, controlled and slow breathing from the diaphragm actively combats the physiological symptoms that the body experiences when it’s stressed. In addition, taking control of something as simple as our breathing can help us feel much better when everything else feels beyond our control.
The practice of mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment instead of worrying about the future or reliving the past – neither of which you can do anything about.
There are a few different ways to practice mindfulness, from simply concentrating on your breathing to actively counting your breaths.
According to mindfulness.org, the practice has many positive effects. First, you don’t immediately react to a situation. This moment to pause will often help you react to a situation without stress or anxiety, because you have thought things through.
Your level of care and compassion for yourself and others rises, and you are better able to focus.
Finally, you can switch your attitude to the stress itself. Instead of just seeing the negative consequences of feeling stressed, you can think differently about the stress itself and appreciate how it can actually energise and assist you.
The science: In a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, participants were asked tap one computer key per breath for a count of nine breaths, and tap a different key for the tenth breath. The activity required an awareness of the breath to complete, and the researchers found a correlation between accurate breath counting and a positive mood.
Write it down
Most negative thoughts and emotions are a closed loop that go around and around in our thoughts without resulting in action. The more we dwell on them, the more stressed we become, and then we dwell more and so on. It’s a vicious circle.
The solution is to get the thought out of your head and onto a piece of paper. This breaks the loop, but it’s also the first step in a process called objective recording.
Psychologist L. Kevin Chapman says that objective recording forces us to view our negative thoughts and emotions from an outsider’s perspective.
Here’s what you need to do. Take a sheet of paper and write “Negative things I am saying to myself,” at the top of the left-hand side of the page, and “Alternatives” at the top of the right-hand side of the page. Fill out both columns. You’ll quickly see that your stress-fuelled thoughts are mostly in your head – and possibly even quite silly.
The science: A study that tracked college students who were assigned to express themselves through writing found that they experienced less stress, depression and anxiety after two months than control students who did nothing.
Laugh out loud
A good laugh doesn’t just improve your mood – it’s a physical response that actively counteracts the effects of stress.
The science: According to the Mayo Clinic, when we laugh, we stimulate our heart, lungs, and muscles because laughing enhances our intake of oxygen-rich air. That’s right – when we laugh we naturally gasp for air. On top of that, our heart rate and blood pressure increase, which promotes a relaxed feeling when they return to normal. Other research had shown that laughter also has the ability to relieve pain, improve immune function, improve mood, and reduce anxiety and depression.
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Keep your remote workforce connected, protected and productive with these 12 apps and platforms.
Your remote workforce requires different tools and platforms to keep your team connected and productive. Here are a selection of top platforms and apps that will help you achieve business as usual during these most unusual times.
A comprehensive family of apps for SMEs that allow you to run your entire business in the cloud.
Includes Sales, Marketing, Support, HR, Operations and Accounting modules
Zoho Meetings has a video conferencing function to support remote working
Cost: There are free entry-level subscriptions per app and a cost as you upgrade or need more functionality
Remote Working Solutions
Host unlimited virtual meetings
Includes HD video, screen sharing and dial-in conference lines
Integrates with Office 365 and Google Calendar
Compatible with computers and mobile devices
Cost: Starts at $12 per month
An instant messaging platform for computers and mobile devices
Organise your team into separate and public conversation channels
Send direct messages
Drag, drop and share all files, including images, PDFs and videos in your chat channels
There are no limits to how many users you can add
Skype and Microsoft Teams
Skype is one of the most well-known video call options available
Send texts, share files, share your screen and include up to 25 participants in a call
Microsoft Teams has replaced Skype for Business and is included in all Office 365 packages
Basic features are included in the free version and greater capabilities with paid-for plans
Cost: There are free entry-level subscriptions per app and a cost as you upgrade or need more functionality.
Toggl: Powerful Time Reports
Offers online timers and time usage reports
Track your own productivity and that of your remote-working team
Export time sheets
Integrate into other productivity platforms
Cost: The first 30 days are free. Thereafter the basic plan starts at $9 per month.
Manage projects, your team and companywide communications from one dashboard
Projects include to-do lists, message boards, file storage, scheduling and chats
Progress can be updated on individual projects and discussions
Cost: The first 30 days are free. Thereafter there is a base rate of $99 per month for your entire team.
Organise and prioritise your projects
Track your team’s workflow
Assign tasks and add members, comments, attachments, due dates, checklists, stickers and labels
Trello notifies team members via email and mobile devices when any changes are made to tasks
Rule-based triggers, calendar commands and due date commands are automated.
Store and share files in the cloud
Share information with your remote workforce
Upload and download files that are too big for email.
Cost: Starts at $12.50 per month for three users
Google Drive Enterprise
Google Drive for businesses
Includes Docs, Sheets and Slides
Collaborate on the same documents in the cloud
Is compatible with over 100 file types
Immediately saves changes
Includes enterprise-grade security.
Cost: Free on the personal plan and $8 per user per month on the Enterprise plan
Many remote workers are utilising their personal devices without the same level of cyber security as their work devices. Cyber attacks are on the rise as a result of cyber criminals who are using the Covid-19 crisis and people’s anxieties to trick them into opening web domains, attachments and emails that contain malware.
Protecting your personal devices is therefore incredibly important.
Stay anonymous on the web so that cyber criminals can’t gather your information
Get unlimited encrypted traffic to protect the information you see, use and post
Secure your Wifi hotspots.
Cost: Starts at $29.99 per year for three desktop devices
Avast Free Antivirus
Detects and blocks viruses, ransomware, and other threats in real-time
Scans your WiFi for security weaknesses and exposes intruders and security weaknesses in your network
Secures your passwords.
AVG Free Antivirus 2020
Stops viruses, spyware and malware
Blocks unsafe email attachments, downloads and links
Scans your devices for performance problems
Gives you real-time security updates
Updates to address new threats automatically.
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Fraudsters are never on lockdown. In fact, many of them are capitalising on the Covid-19 crisis. Here are the risks you need to be aware to avoid becoming another statistic.
We are all adjusting to a new reality in which we’re working from home, practicing social distancing and surviving the realities of lockdown. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are adjusting to this new reality as well – and they’re taking advantage of it.
During times of crisis, people are anxious, desperate for news and out of their normal routines – all perfect conditions for cyber attackers to strike.
Covid-19 related attacks are on the rise
People change their patterns and behaviour during a crisis, and this gives cyber attackers a huge opportunity that they can leverage.
Because we’re all desperate to stay up to date, we are more likely to open links and attachments from sources before verifying them.
Cyber criminals are making widespread use of Covid-19 related themes to get people to visit web domains, download apps and open emails and attachments – some of which carry malware and other threats.
Stay vigilant and ensure you have up-to-date anti-virus software on your laptop or PC. If you are working from a personal device and not exclusively from a work device, there are free anti-virus software versions available online.
How Phishing, Smishing and Vishing is targeting you
Cyber criminals are currently using the following scams:
Phishing: Fraudsters pose as real companies to try and trick you into sharing sensitive information via an emailed attachment or link. For example, scammers posing as SARS agents offering Covid-19 tax benefits and requesting your banking details. Delete any suspicious emails immediately. You will never be asked to provide sensitive information online by legitimate businesses.
Smishing: This is similar to phishing, but the information is requested via SMS. No legitimate business will ask you to share sensitive information via SMS. Delete any suspicious texts immediately.
Vishing: Cyber criminals pose as agents from businesses and brands that you deal with in order to persuade you to transfer money over the phone or share your one time pin (OTP) over the phone. Always verify any unexpected phone requests by ending the call and phoning the business yourself directly. Do not give any personal information over the phone. Legitimate brands will not request you to do so.
Mobile phone risks and how to avoid them
Our personal devices offer a number of ways for cyber criminals to target us:
Lost or stolen phones: You lose your phone (or it’s stolen) and you immediately report it to your service provider. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what a cyber criminal was waiting for. With the phone reported as missing, a fraudster can contact your service provider posing as you and ask them to port your number to their SIM. To protect yourself, set up an access PIN or password on your phone, and never save your usernames and passwords on your device – particularly for your bank account and banking app. If your phone is lost or stolen, contact us immediately as well.
Cell phone banking fraud: If a fraudster can convince your service provider to change your SIM card so that they can assume your number, they can use your number to access banking services on their phone and transfer funds from your account. Never share your ATM pin, card number or Customer Selected Pin with anyone, and don’t use the same pin for different things. If you suddenly stop receiving calls or texts, contact your service provider immediately – someone may have transferred your number to their SIM card.
Strengthen your security through the Standard Bank banking app
DigiME, a sophisticated new security feature, is available in the latest version of the Standard Bank App. It requires biometric and facial recognition software, combined with multi-factor authentication, to keep your digital services safe. Download the app or update it today. https://community.standardbank.co.za/t5/Community-blog/DigiME-a-sophisticated-new-security-feature-available-in-the/ba-p/437412
Stay alert, to stay safe. If you detect any suspicious activity or suspect fraud, call us immediately on our 24/7 Fraud Call Centre on 0800 020 600.
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Good financial habits begin at home. With the right mindset, you can help your children to build habits that will positively support them for life.
Covid-19 has changed the way the world operates. With a global recession predicted and personal finances under strain, how you discuss finances at home and what you teach your children today could shape their future financial wellbeing.
According to Jocelyn Black Hodes for Business Insider, how our parents raised us and handled their own finances has had a large impact on the decisions we make as adults. Parents who were frugal, lived large or never spoke about money at all have left lasting impressions – and that was during ‘normal’ times.
Covid-19 is anything but normal. Lockdowns and continued social distancing mean we are all spending more time together at home. Most families will be experiencing some form of financial strain, either because they cannot work from home, they are earning less, or their businesses are under strain. This financial stress will unfortunately be felt at home, whether you are discussing the situation with your children or not.
The good news is that you currently have more time at home with your family to begin a solid financial education. It’s the ideal time to begin to shape good financial habits in a post-Covid-19 world (and hopefully help ease some of the anxiety they might be feeling around the family’s finances at the same time).
Here are five tips to financially educating your children in a positive way:
Teach them about earning
Families are in lockdown at home 24/7 and chores are piling up. This is an ideal time to involve your children in maintaining their own environments.
Teach them about taking responsibility and reward them based on outcomes.
Combine monetary earnings with positive non-monetary reinforcement to build a positive work ethic.
If you are working from home, teach them that earning an income while balancing life and work is positive – do not complain every time you have to work, as this could create a negative impression around work and earning.
Teach them about saving
Children should be taught about saving early on (although it’s never too late to start).
Helping your children to diligently save a portion of their allowance into a savings account paves the way for positive financial habits.
For older children, set up different, linked accounts. Allocate a ‘rainy day fund’ to build the habit of saving for emergencies, a short-term savings account to buy something they really want within the next two to six months, a ‘giving account’, for a charity of their choice, and a current account for spending now.
For younger children, have three clear jars where they can save their money. These jars can be labelled ‘save’, ‘give’ and ‘spend’. It’s important that your children can watch their money grow as they add to the jars.
Click here to learn about our savings accounts for kids. https://www.standardbank.co.za/southafrica/personal/products-and-services/bank-with-us/bank-accounts/our-accounts/(sum)1-account
Help them to understand the power of delayed gratification
This practice of saving teaches children about the benefits of delayed gratification (for example, when they’ve finally saved enough to buy that PlayStation they really wanted).
As we all tighten our belts during Covid-19 and beyond, sound financial advice includes saving for non-essential items, rather than using credit.
Use positive framing
Covid-19 brings with it many anxieties about job security, the ability to pay our bills and what the future holds. Naturally this also creates anxiety over money for families – whether you are openly discussing them or not. Be aware of how you frame these issues for your children, even when you are speaking to your partner.
The beliefs we form as children around money issues can prove to be persistent in adult-life. A ‘lack mentality’ can impede your child’s future-thinking around money, earning and opportunities.
Instead, frame any current financial challenge as ‘temporary’. Focus on how they will be overcome, even if the current circumstances are tough.
This will help your children to see a brighter future beyond your immediate concerns.
Model good behaviours
Remember that your children take their cues from you, and they practice what you do, not necessarily what you say.
Good personal budgeting, savings and responsible management of credit are essential skills that you can bestow on your children.
Discuss your financial choices with them, as well as past mistakes you might have made and how you’ve corrected them.
This is your opportunity to really give them a good start in building their own financial freedom.
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We’re living in a ‘remote’ world. Interacting with others online is becoming more important than ever before.
How you handle your online profile during the lockdown and beyond will determine the social media presence and following that you will earn during this period of high stress and anxiety.
On the one hand, with potential clients and employers spending more time online, you have an ideal opportunity to connect, support them and build your profile.
On the other hand, what you do today will be available for future clients and employers to find online forever. It’s therefore important that you spend time determining what you want to say and how you want to interact online. You need to be authentic, but you also don’t want to type every fleeting thought that you have, particularly when you’re also experiencing higher levels of stress than usual.
To enhance your social media in a positive, long-lasting way, keep these ten critical points top of mind.
Determine your key objective: How do you want to be known online? Do you want to be the go-to name for futuristic predictions? Are you supporting entrepreneurs? Will your personal brand focus on helping others to become the best version of themselves? Once you determine what you want to be known for, you have a lens that you can view every post and interaction through, so this is a critical first step.
What is the benefit you wish to offer your audience? This relates directly to what you want to be known for. Simply sharing the same thoughts on topics as everyone else doesn’t add value to your audience, it just clutters their news feeds. Take the time to find a unique angle or thought. Be critical – are you adding value to someone’s day or even week?
Pay attention to the quality of images you share. This begins with your profile image, which should be professional and high quality, but is also relevant to each and every image your share. You are essentially building an online brand. The look and feel of your posts should be recognisable.
Be authentic. Building a professional online profile and brand is only successful if you are authentic. First, because people have become very good and recognising who is being authentic online, and who isn’t. It’s okay to be human – we want to interact with people. However, you also need to be consistent. Authenticity helps you achieve this.
Spelling and grammar count. There is no doubt that we have moved into a more casual business era, but that doesn’t mean you can write poorly. Readers unconsciously trust – or distrust – posts based on whether they believe someone is an expert. Spelling and grammar are important indicators. If you can’t pay attention to the details, can I trust your insights?
Include professional endorsements and accomplishments. Ask your network to share your posts. Share their posts as well. Building an online profile is largely based on who you are associated with, so choose your connections wisely. Don’t friend or follow someone whose values are completely opposed to your own. Ask your network for endorsements on LinkedIn – and endorse them as well. The online community is based on social proof.
Be selective in what you re-post. Your online audience trusts you, so verify information before you repost or share it. This is particularly important during a crisis period like Covid-19, where people are desperate for information, but there is a lot of fake news doing the rounds. Treat each post like a social responsibility.
Find the line between authenticity and over-sharing. Even with privacy settings in place, social profiles can be viewed by employers and customers. If you are actively building a public online profile, be aware of how you are portraying your personal and professional lives. People want to see who you are, and sharing personal details is okay, but review each post through your lens: does it support your overall objectives?
Be kind. We are in the middle of a pandemic. Stress and tensions are riding high, and social distancing, home schooling and remote working are adding complexities to everyone lives – not to mention financial stresses. Remember to treat others as you wish to be treated.
Respect different opinions. Many of the most active personalities on social media welcome debates. This is how we engage with each other on difficult and often important topics. If you choose to ask questions of your audience, request that everyone remains respectful, and make sure you are respectful in turn. We don’t all share the same opinions, and it is important to listen to each other.
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Whether you’re wanting to start a new business or just earn some extra cash, you could be using spare time during lockdown to set up your own online store.
As people continue to work remotely and isolate for the next few weeks and months to avoid exposure to the Coronavirus, it’s likely that the popularity of online shopping will continue to rise – offering buyers a safer alternative to hitting the malls.
One way to bring in an additional source of income is by turning a hobby or skill into an online business.
There are several hobbies and skills that have the potential to be turned into an online business.
Enjoy writing? Sell eBooks, novels or novellas online.
Have a flare for illustration or design? Start a T-shirt business showcasing your authentic designs, or printable artwork.
Enjoy cooking? Offer a subscription box of recipes and ingredients featuring your recipe creations.
The possibilities for authentic, one-of-a-kind products are endless, all you need to do is some planning and research up front to turn your hobby into an online business that earns you extra income.
5 Tips to starting a business online
Plan what you will be offering customers
First, identify what it is exactly that you are good at doing or creating. It could be one or multiple things. And, remember that you don’t have to decide on only one product – you could first test whether there is a market for any of your ideas with friends and family, before deciding on your course of action.
The important step here is to really give careful consideration into what skills or hobby you can turn into an online business – and whether there will be a market for it right now.
As people continue to stay at home, consider some of their needs that you could fulfil.
Business and Life coaches, for example, are providing one-on-one online consultations, while designers are offering personalised one-of-a-kind re-usable material face masks.
Jot your ideas down and consider the viability of each before settling on one or two ideas.
Do your competitor research
Before you start selling anything, research, research and then research again. Have a look at what is already available in the marketplace and ask yourself:
Who else is offering what you are wanting to sell?
Is there a viable market for your product?
What are the major costs involved in making your product?
How are your competitors pricing their products?
What can you do differently to distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Find an all-in-one ecommerce platform
Next, start thinking about where you will sell your products. You may consider an online marketplace as an easy option to get going, but first investigate what their rules and regulations may be, including how much of your sale will need to be shared with the online marketplace provider, and whether there are any hidden costs, such as advertising revenue which may be deducted as a percentage of your income.
You would also need an easy-to-use solution, that offers you the ability to accept payments. Standard Bank’s SimplyBlu ecommerce platform enables you to start and manage an online business from a single, secure platform. You can get up and running in no time and can access an all-in-one digital business starter pack with powerful tools. SimplyBlu also enables you to accept payments anywhere and everywhere.
4. Market your online store
Now that’s you’ve identified the right platform to host your new online business you’ll need to start selling.
Come up with an original, engaging name for your business that quickly lets customers know what your offering is all about.
Next, develop an original look and feel that helps you to stand out from your competitors.
Start getting word out about your business and products. You might start small with friends and family, but to access a larger audience, start building an online presence through social media and online ads. Be prepared to spend some money before you will make money so that you can attract customers to your online shop.
Carve time out for your business
Turning your hobby or skill into an online business as a secondary income stream will mean that you’ll have to juggle time between your full-time job and side shop. Carve out time between work and family responsibilities to invest in building your business.
Structure your time so that you spend a few hours every day devoted to building your business and producing your products.
Invest in ongoing learning about how to market your online shop effectively and building a brand.
Treat your online business as – a business. Looking at it as anything less will mean that it becomes less of a priority.
Above all, don’t give up. Building a business of value will demand time. However, the dividends will pay off in the future.
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For many South Africans who live on or below the bread line, the luxury of a saving net to shield them from a crisis such as Covid-19 simply isn’t an option. But for those of us with stable incomes, it’s essential to save as much as possible towards an emergency fund.
Emergency funds shield us from the devastation of life’s unexpected expenses, from medical bills to home repairs, sudden and unexpected unemployment and even personal situations such as a divorce. When you have savings in place, you can focus on dealing with a crisis situation without worrying about how you’re going to pay for it – or accumulating more debt.
How much should I save?
Experts advise that we should aim to have between three and six months of our monthly incomes in a savings account and accessible in an emergency situation.
While this might seem completely unattainable, the key is to start saving. You’d be amazed how quickly you will have a decent ‘rainy day fund’ once you start putting the right saving habits in place.
It’s also important for your emergency fund to be in a separate savings account from your day-to-day expense account. You don’t want to be tempted to dip in to your reserves.
6 Tips to Build Your Emergency Account
Review your expenses
A good view of your spending habits will tell you where you’re spending money that you could be saving. Split your costs into non-essential and essential expenses. Shop around for quotes to see if you can trim back on your essential expenses, and determine which non-essentials you can cut back on and which you aren’t willing to give up. There are many smart ways to save money if you’re looking for them.
Create a budget
Once you have a good handle on your expenses you can create a budget. Factor your short-term debt into your initial budget. Servicing short-term debt is expensive – pay it off first before you start saving. Your goal should be to save 20% of your income each month, so your budget should ideally encompass the remaining 80% of your income. You might need to re-evaluate your non-essential spending to make your budget feasible. If you do manage to save 20% of your income each month, it will take you a year to build up your emergency fund.
Pay yourself first
Saving should be an expense – not an afterthought. Once you’ve factored saving into your budget, you can set up an upfront debit order that puts aside a certain amount towards your emergency fund before you do anything else. This also ensures that you won’t accidently spend the money.
Put any bonus cash away
From birthday money to tax refunds and bonuses, transfer any income over and above your normal monthly income into your savings account. You won’t miss it since it isn’t in your budget, and your emergency fund will quietly grow in the background.
Make sure your money grows
Take advantage of the benefits of a Tax-Free Investment Account, by investing up to R33 000 annually and tax-free. With Standard Bank’s Tax-Free Investment Account, you invest your money in the stock market through Exchange Traded Funds, providing access more than 250 JSE Shares and ETFs on an ad-hoc or recurring basis.
Looking for more flexibility when it comes to accessing your money? Investment accounts like our Flexi Advantage Investment Account allow you to invest a lump sum and still have access to a portion of your funds as and when you need to, while providing you with a fixed interest rate over the term of your investment.
Teach your children good spending habits
Teaching your children good spending habits has two key outcomes. First, you help your children to become financially savvy from an early age. The sooner they start saving, the bigger their emergency funds will be if they ever need them. Second, by displaying good habits for your children, you will naturally start spending less and saving more, which will support your own efforts to create financial freedom for yourself and your family.
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While lockdown is curbing our entertainment expenses, a full family at home 24/7 is increasing electricity and water usage. With the future – and in many cases, full incomes – under pressure, saving on costs is important.
Here are 30 ways to reduce your electricity and water usage, without making everyone feel uncomfortable at home.
Tips for using less electricity at home
Geysers, dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers use a lot of electricity. We’re not suggesting that you go back to basics and start handwashing everything, but there are smart ways to reduce your electricity and water usage. While none of these tips will make a huge difference on their own, added together they can really make a positive impact on your utility bills.
Set your electrical geyser’s thermostat at 55 ° C to 60 ° C.
Insulate your geyser and hot water pipes with fibreglass or newspaper.
Switch off lights when they aren’t needed.
Choose higher wattage light bulbs and reduce how many lights you need on. For example, two 60-watt light bulbs produce the same light as a 100-watt bulb – but use a lot more electricity.
Switch to LED lights where possible and use low-energy lights outside.
Turn your dishwasher off before its drying cycle and dry your dishes by hand.
Don’t connect your dishwasher to the geyser – use a cold-water supply instead.
Heat and moisture make your fridge work harder, so install your dishwasher away from your fridge.
If you’re replacing your dishwasher or washing machine, look for energy-saving features like short cycles.
Tumble dry your clothes until they are dry and no longer.
Hang clothes outside on sunny days.
Wait until you have a full load before filling the washing machine.
Use the shortest washing programme that still cleans your clothes. You might need to experiment with this.
Switch off your stove or oven before your food is cooked and finish cooking without using additional energy.
Only foods that require high temperatures or slow cooking times need a preheated oven.
Plan your meals. Defrosting food overnight in your fridge uses far less energy than defrosting food in a microwave.
Defrost your freezer regularly. A build-up of ice increases running costs because your entire fridge needs to work harder to maintain temperatures.
Turn your appliances off at the wall when you aren’t using them.
As winter approaches, insulate your ceiling and close any gaps that allow drafts into your home so that you require less heat to keep your house warm.
Limit your pool pump to only running a few short hours per day.
City Power has an online calculator that tracks how much power you’re using based on your appliances and how often they’re used. This is a useful way to track how your different strategies are impacting your power usage.
Tips for using less water at home
It wasn’t that long ago that South Africa was gripped by major water restrictions. Hopefully some of those good habits have stuck, but let’s revisit the top advice we received in limiting water usage. If you have children in the house, some of these tips will be particularly useful.
Choose showering over baths. A bath can use anywhere from three to five times more water than a shower.
Limit your showers to five minutes or less.
If you shower in a bath tub, keep the plug in or stand in a shallow bucket. You can then use this water elsewhere in your home ‘(such as for flushing toilets) or to water your garden.
Connect your washing machine’s outlet pipe to a large bucket. Instead of this water going down the drain, you can use it to water your garden (provided you use biodegradable washing powders).
Don’t let the tap run while you brush your teeth or wash your hands for a full 20 seconds.
Choose the shortest cycles available on your washing machine and dishwasher – as we’ve highlighted, this saves electricity as well.
Install a cover over your swimming pool to limit evaporation. A cover will also keep dirt out of the pool, which reduces how often you need to backwash it.
Water your garden in the early evening to avoid evaporation.
Put a brick (or something like it) in your toilet cistern. If you displace water, you’ll use less water each time you flush.
Capture your rain water. You can then water your garden without turning on a hose.
As South Africans, we’ve had our fair share of power and water restrictions. The changes you make in your home today won’t only help during lockdown, but are excellent practices to follow as we all try to become more cognisant of our impact on the environment.
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Some businesses have closed their doors, others have employees working from home. Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, finances are dominating your thoughts.
We understand your concerns, will you still have a steady income as Covid-19 continues to unfold over the next weeks and months? How will you cover your bills? How will you maintain your lifestyle?
Unfortunately, the stark reality is that many of us will not continue to maintain our pre-Covid-19 lifestyles. But this doesn’t mean you’ll end up bankrupt either.
What you can learn from Frugal living extremists
Over the past decade a movement has been quietly growing in different countries around the world.
For some followers of ‘financial independence, retire early’ (FIRE) the aim is to retire in their 40s or even 30s. For others, the goal is financial independence, which requires building a nest egg that gives you the ability to make decisions that are focused on your life and family, instead of your income.
If you’re thinking that becoming a FIRE acolyte in the middle of a global pandemic and possibly even a recession is completely out of the realm of possibility, particularly when you’re concerned you won’t be able to cover your bond next month, you’re probably right.
There’s a lot to learn from the way FIRE supporters live and the financial decisions they make, though. The goal is to save half of what you earn each month. Achieving FIRE is a big deal – it takes a huge amount of focus and determination.
But imagine if you only needed half of what you currently spend to cover your expenses? Suddenly, the terrors of financial ruin are far more distant, and coming through Covid-19 without bad debt is a real possibility.
Frugal living tips to help you through Covid-19
Focus on your spending rate and not your income
Embrace a mindset shift that doesn’t spend based on what you earn, but only on what you need.
Reevaluate your living needs
Downsize your living (particularly for renters)
Generate money from your property by renting out rooms or cottages
Move in with family if necessary.
Pay close attention to what you spend on food
Restaurants may be closed for the time being, curbing entertainment expenses, but even convenience foods cost more than home-cooked meals.
Remember when you were a student? Avoid luxury items, create a ‘food’ budget and stick to it each month.
Take care of yourself
Doctors’ bills can be expensive
Focus on what you can control, such as how much you exercise and your nutrition.
Avoid the dentist by paying particular attention to your teeth – particularly with your kids.
Reduce your fuel costs
Once lockdown is over, consider ride sharing
If your household has two cars, prioritise the most fuel-efficient vehicle
Plan your trips better to save fuel and mileage.
Reduce utility costs
Pay close attention to your utility bills (link to article 2)
Curb unnecessary spending
Treat saving as an expense
Give yourself an allowance for discretionary spending, instead of spending whatever is left over after you’ve paid expenses (and put money away as savings)
Buy second hand if you can (eg appliances, vehicles and furniture).
Making saving a priority, not an after-thought
Auto deposit into a savings account each month
Save until you can afford to make a purchase. Avoid buying on credit.
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Retshidisitswe Kotane, a medical graduate who recently registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is proud to be serving her country at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. In January she was at the verge of being a statistic, having missed three graduation ceremonies and unable to find a job in the field she studied, as a result of her being unable to receive her qualification certificate due to unpaid university fees.
Kotane knew from a young age that she wanted to positively impact people’s lives and make a difference in communities. She felt that her dreams were well within her grasp when she completed her Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice studies, a new mid-level healthcare provider qualification in South Africa, at the Wits Medical School. However, her name was removed from the graduation list because she had about R95 000 in outstanding fees that she was unable to pay. Without her graduation certificate, Kotane could not register with the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and was therefore not allowed to work in the medical field.
Kotane heard about the Feenix crowdfunding platform, through which she was able to connect with individuals in her community to partly reach her fundraising goal with the bulk of the balance paid by the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation. Tutuwa is one of the institutions that has joined the Feenix community to ensure that students are given a chance to graduate and pursue the next step in their future.
“The Foundation aims to inspire and support the growth and development of young people so that they can reach their full potential and be productive citizens. Our contribution to Feenix is to fund young people like Retshidisitswe Kotane to enable her to attain her degree certificate which she has worked so hard for, is an example of our contribution towards building a better South Africa and leaving a legacy. Congratulations Retshidisitswe, and well done for your hard work, resilience, tenacity and staying the course,” says Zanele Twala, CEO of the Tutuwa Foundation.
Kotane couldn’t quite believe that her dreams were becoming a reality. “After I received the email telling me my debt would be covered, I was in complete disbelief. I only realised it was true when I checked my fee statement a week later and found that the outstanding fees had indeed been settled.”
She immediately made her way to the HPCSA offices in Pretoria and registered as a health professional and received her registration number. While her long wait for registration was finally over, she believed she would have a further struggle to find employment. But a mere 3 days after registration with the HPCSA she got a call offering her a locum contract at a private clinic.
To her surprise, a week after registering with the HPCSA, a former lecturer called her to advise that there was an opportunity to apply for work at Netcare. Kotane sent her CV through, and within a few days, was offered a position as part of the response team to the Covid-19 pandemic at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).
“All of this happened within less than a month of having my debt cleared and registering with the HPCSA,” says Kotane. “I am so grateful to Feenix and the Tutuwa Foundation. It has been an overwhelming journey and I can still hardly believe it.”
She is also proud to be serving her country as it faces an unprecedented medical crisis. “I am doing what I am passionate about and learning so much at the same time.”
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Please be advised that you are able to link your credit card and current account, you'll need to contact customer care on 0860 123 000 in order to link the accounts. Once you've been assisted with linking the cards, your credit card will appear as a tile on the same dashboard as your current account. To transact between the two account, simply:
Log onto the app,
Tap on the tile which shows your balance and account details,
Tap on "transfer" and input the amount you'd like to transfer.
Let us know should you experience any issues from here.
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We currently not experiencing any issues with or digital platforms. Please reboot the device and try again, should this matter persist please contact us on our social media platforms for quicker response and feedback: twitter: https://twitter.com/StandardBankZA or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StandardBankSA/ . Note, you can send a direct message to us for further assistance.
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Apologies for your experience. We would like to intervene and assist further, please may we ask that you share your account details with screenshots of the error on your end? We need to share this with our Mobile App Developers for profile investigation and feedback. Kindly share your initial query with requested information here: [email protected]
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We do apologise for the delay in resolving this for you. Please share your initial query and insurance account number here for further assistance: [email protected]
As soon as we receive your email, we will share with the insurance team for further investigation and feedback.
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Hello @nkosisimphiwe ,
Thank you for reaching us. We strongly suggest that on queries/matters that needs immediate response you engage us on our social media platforms for convenient assistance and response: twitter: https://twitter.com/StandardBankZA or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StandardBankSA/ . Note, you can send a direct message to us for further assistance.
You also have an option to open a MyMo account as the account is more user friendly for everyday banking. Please follow the link for more information on this account and you can also apply for this account online in seconds: https://www.standardbank.co.za/southafrica/personal/products-and-services/bank-with-us/bank-accounts/our-accounts/mymo-account
Let us know should you still require further assistance on this.
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Please confirm if this is still an issue. We currently don't have any issues with our digital channels. Kindly share your query on our social media platforms should you require further immediate assistance in future. You can share your with us here for convenient assistance and response: twitter: https://twitter.com/StandardBankZA or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StandardBankSA/ . Note, you can send a direct message to us for further assistance.
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We do apologise for any inconvenience caused by this. Please confirm if this is still an issue, if yes - share your query with us on our social media platforms for convenient assistance and response: twitter: https://twitter.com/StandardBankZA or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StandardBankSA/ . Note, you can send a direct message to us for further assistance.
Note, we currently don't have any system issues on both Mobile Banking App and Internet Banking.
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Please share your initial query query and account details for further assistance, kindly share them with us on our social media for convenient assistance and response: twitter: https://twitter.com/StandardBankZA or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StandardBankSA/ . Note, you can send a direct message to us for further assistance.
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You will need to add this account as a "beneficiary" on your Mobile Banking App or Internet Banking and start making transaction.
Please follow the attached link on multiple steps on how to add your beneficiaries on both Mobile Banking and Internet Banking: https://international.standardbank.com/international/personal/products-and-services/bank/international-bank-accounts/manage-your-account/Manage-payments,-transfers-&-beneficiaries
Let us know should you still need further assistance on this.
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We do apologise for the delay in answering your call, please connect with us on our social media platforms for immediate response on your query.
You can follow us here: twitter: https://twitter.com/StandardBankZA or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StandardBankSA/. Note, you can send a direct message to us for further assistance.
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Please note that we remain open as an essential service provider and we should be able to assist at your nearest branch. Should you be unable to visit your nearest branch, kindly contact us here for further assistance: 0860 123 000.
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Hello @Fairouscha ,
We would like to assist further on this matter. Please share your initial query and your account details for further assistance: [email protected]
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You'll need to share the details of the voucher that was sent for further assistance, please share the initial query with the details to : 0860 466 639 or [email protected] The Instant Money consultants/team should be able to assist you and resolve this matter.
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