Investment clubs are gaining more prominence as it allows people to pool resources together to make meaningful investments and encourages saving. dfcu Bank has been at the forefront rallying Ugandans to start up investment clubs and also nurturing a savings culture amongst them. Based on that, an Investment App was developed specifically to meet investment clubs’ needs. dfcu Bank’s Pamela Nakityo, a senior Manager Investments and SACCOs explains how dfcu Bank’s investment App works in the Q& A below.
- You recently launched the dfcu Investment Club App. What’s been the response to it so far?
The Investment Club App is one of many solutions we have rolled out in line with our digitization agenda. The overall objective of the App is mainly focused on ensuring financial inclusion for group members who do not operate the group account with the Bank. It provides a platform through which members can access financial services by way of deposits, loans, withdrawals and contributions monitoring. Members can perform all the functions comfortably through their mobile phones even where the bank is not present.
Since we launched the App we have at least 400 savings groups/Clubs activated and over 5000 downloads of the App. We have sessions to sensitize the groups on the benefits of the App, how to use it because and of course drive usage of the App.
- Are there any conditions or prerequisites for me to be able to access and utilize the App?
The App is available to every person who downloads it from the Google Play Store or Apple store with menus for the user to navigate through. To be able to log into the App and have access to more menus including performing transactions, your group should have an account with dfcu Bank and the signatories of the Account need to have signed the group up for the App.
- How long does it take for one to create an account?
The actual account creation takes one day but the process of getting the required documentation to support account opening will take you close to 3 days because it requires registration of the club constitution with URSB and getting all the club account signatories sign off the account opening documentation.
- What solutions does this App offer for investment clubs?
In order to make it more convenient for members to save, the App allows for simplified contributions wherever, whenever. Transparency and accountability is a major concern whenever people pool resources together so the ability to track and monitor savings and investments is critical. Many group savings have lending to each other as an added benefit being part of the group so we have simplified the process of applying, approving and receiving loans. All these are handled within the App making it possible to get a loan in just matter of hours or less. From an administrative perspective, reporting, reconciliation and member administration is simplified.
- How secure is the App?
As is the case with our Quick banking App, the Investment Club App comes with multiple security layers starting with creation of own PIN and password, setting security questions, One Time Password(OTP) at more than one level for all transactions initiated and the individual mobile Money PIN.
- How long does it take to process a loan on the App?
The App is designed to help the group and its members save conveniently and track individual and group savings. The turn-around time on the processing of the loan is dependent on the speed of approval from the Administrators. Members can initiate loan requests, get approvals and withdraw to their preferred channel say Mobile money, dfcu account, EFT or RTGS to another bank in one day – all done through the App.
- Is the App linked to any other mobile applications? Can I use the App in any other way apart from savings & loans as a group?
The App comes with a browser management tool that is used by the Admins to maintain other records such as incomes, expenses and investments. With the App, you can be able browse through the bank’s available offers on its website, you can follow dfcu Bank and engage in different conversations over Twitter, facebook, and whatsApp. You have the ability to locate all our branches and ATMs and so much more.