Do you have enough foreign currency in your virtual back pocket? If not, here are three reasons to change that today.

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You can buy, send and store local and foreign currency (currently USD, EUR, GBP and AUD) anytime, anywhere – directly from your phone. (Image: Supplied)
You can buy, send and store local and foreign currency (currently USD, EUR, GBP and AUD) anytime, anywhere – directly from your phone. (Image: Supplied)

Global citizens need convenient global wallets

Long-gone is the time where your geographical location had to limit your digital presence.

Digital nomads choose to live in lower-cost locations, digitally linking to their teams across the globe. Ambitious South Africa-based professionals, wanting to empower themselves through learning, are no longer bound by the training opportunities offered locally. They shop around for bespoke courses and qualifications offered digitally by global providers.

You can now sit in your living room in Pretoria and watch the Chicago Bulls take on the Los Angeles Lakers in a basketball face-off, if you have purchased an NBA subscription.

All of the above – paying team members in different locations, buying online training or accessing global digital media sources – becomes a lot easier if you have different virtual back pockets in which to store your various global wallets, filled and at the ready with US Dollars or Euros for those purchases or transfers.

Black Friday, and even more so Cyber Monday, becomes a dream if you have USD at your disposal.

Enter Shyft.

On the market since 2017, the Standard Bank-powered app advertises itself as the home for global citizens. You can buy, send and store local and foreign currency (currently USD, EUR, GBP and AUD) anytime, anywhere – directly from your phone.

Once you have transferred money into your ZAR pocket in the app, you can indicate the amount you want to spend and get live rates for your forex purposes. It’s all transparent: the fee for the purchase is built into the live rate and there are no further hidden commissions or costs. What you see is what you get.

This means less uncertainty for all your international shopping sprees

If you weren’t a global couch shopper before Covid-19, you definitely are now. We have been given the gift of time!

A United Nations Conference on Trade and Development survey of e-commerce shoppers in nine emerging and developed economies (which included South Africa) showed that people have increased their online purchases – most pronounced in the category of highly educated female shoppers.

But when you click add to cart from South Africa for your Supreme Cordura Shoulder Bag, there is always a bit of wait-and-see on what your purchase will cost in South African Rand once the reigning exchange rate and transaction fees have been tallied.

Not if you can make those purchases using any of the virtual cards that the Shyft app offers. The virtual card, issued digitally with a CVV number and available in any of the currencies offered by Shyft, works on 3D Secure sites and no fee is charged by Standard Bank when used. You simply top up the card with forex that you’ve purchased on the app when the rate was favourable and voila!

Shyft also offers physical prepaid cards in ZAR or the international currencies that can be used when we get to travel again. ATM withdrawal fees are costed at a flat rate (USD3,3 for example for dollar) and no additional charges apply when swiping.

Handy for when you need to make international transfers, in a flash

Increasingly you will find families spread out over different continents and solutions for remittances are in demand.

With Shyft this process is simplified and sped up. Firstly, you can execute the transaction 24/7 – no need to wait for business hours to schlep to the bank and fill in the required paperwork. Once the recipient account is set up as a beneficiary you can simply select the currency pocket that you want to transfer the funds from, and press send. The transfer will cost you a flat fee, not a percentage, very favourable for larger amounts.

So, whether you want to send your mom some moola in Maputo or your dad some dollars in Detroit, having the funds in the applicable currency or the ability to exchange your rand into dollars at the touch of a button, makes this process a breeze.

This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Standard Bank.

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