StokFella, a smartphone-based app that helps stokvel groups manage their savings in a tech-savvy way.
Having been part of several stokvels over the years, and after conducting extensive research among a few local groups, the Soweto-born entrepreneur quickly deduced that administration was a major stumbling block that prevented many groups from reaching their full savings or investment potential.
“Their [stokvels’] biggest challenge is administration,”
“They never reach their full potential because they’re questioning something to do with their books or they’re struggling with someone paying late.
There’s that ‘pain point’, and I thought this is the best way to solve that ‘pain point’.”
“Further to that, when you start analysing stokvels and how they’re growing, you realise it’s one of the ways to tackle inequality in the country, so that’s when I asked, ‘How can we push this forward?’”
Launched on 16 March, Moloi worked on the app for about eight months before partnering with Pluritone –
an IT services consultancy that specialises in software and app development – to develop the app for another year before the final product went to market.
The app focuses on helping stokvel treasurers and chairpersons keep track of monthly payments and claims, and to schedule meetings.
Anticipating potential resistance to the new-generation approach to a 19th-century savings solution that’s believed to be worth at least R25 billion,
Moloi says his team worked on developing two separate strategies to market the app to older and younger groups.
“With the older generation, you need to interact with them face-to-face, so we’ve been doing community outreach meetings where we talk to communities about the app and its benefits,”
he says, adding that the younger generation should take greater responsibility in teaching their parents how to be more tech-savvy.
In addition, the StokFella app doesn’t need to be used by every member of the group.
Moloi took into account that not every member may be literate or own a compatible device, so group members are able to capture the details on someone’s behalf. This history can be populated once a member buys a smartphone.