Currency devaluation is a major crisis that citizens of Third World countries have to deal with as they battle inflation, economic crises and political instability.
Nigeria’s Naira has historically experienced significant volatility and depreciation, primarily because of its inability to diversify its economy. So saving your money in Naira is not a wise financial decision as it will erode the value.
For instance, according to Stears' income calculator, if you saved ₦400,000 in May 2020, that money will be worth just ₦266,171 today. This is why saving money in dollars (USD) is a priority for many Nigerians to preserve their wealth.
The U.S. dollar is widely recognised as a stable global currency, and holding your savings in dollars can provide a relatively safer store of value over time.
In addition, saving in dollars allows you to access a broader range of international investment opportunities. You can invest in global financial markets, purchase international assets, or participate in foreign exchange (fx) trading with dollars.
Although saving in dollars is possible through a domiciliary account, the bureaucracies, timing and documentation required to open the account are enough to dissuade you. Currently, no Nigerian bank facilitates the exchange of dollars for naira.
Hence, the alternative solution for saving in dollars in Nigeria is using fintech apps. In the following section, we will highlight six fintech apps that enable Nigerians to save in dollars. The fintechs are Rise, Muna, Piggyvest, Cowrywise, Pillow Fund and Bamboo.
Rise is a fintech app that assists Nigerians in saving in dollars and earning attractive returns. It also enables users to invest in dollar-denominated assets with the potential for returns, and it is accessible to everyone, regardless of their initial investment amount.
The Muna app is a platform that enables users to save in dollars and other various cryptocurrencies. The value of Muna’s USDN is equivalent to dollars, so users saving their money on Muna are saving in dollars.
Muna was founded in 2020 by Henry Lucky. The app offers users a yearly interest rate as high as 15% and provides 4 locked savings plans and a flexible one.
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Although typically known as a savings and investments platform, you can save in dollars on Pigyvest’s Flex dollar wallet. The feature enables you to save, invest and transfer funds in dollars.
In 2016, Somto Ifezue, Odunayo Eweniyi, and Joshua Chibueze founded Piggyvest. You can save a minimum of $1 and get a yearly interest of 7% annually.
Cowrywise is a mobile platform that allows users to save and invest their money in dollars. The app offers other investment options besides saving in dollars, like cryptocurrencies, Halal savings and mutual funds.
Cowrywise was founded in 2017 by Edward Popoola and Razaq Ahmed. Users of the Cowrywise app can earn up to 8% interest per annum.
Pillow Fund makes saving and investing easy by allowing you to save in dollar-based assets while earning daily passive income. The app also allows users to invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and other USD-backed coins.
The platform was founded in 2021 by Arindam Roy, Rajath KM, and Kartik Mishra. You can earn up to 14% annual interest on these savings. Also, Pillow has no lock-in periods or maturity dates - the interest is paid out daily.
Here is another non-typical saving app that you can use to save your money in dollars. Through Bamboo’s fixed-income dollar-denominated platform, you can save your idle funds without being exposed to the risk of investments.
Bamboo was founded in January 2020 by Richmond Bassey and Yanmo Omorogbe. You can earn up to 8% interest on your dollars savings if you save for 90 days and above.
By using these fintech apps, Nigerians can hedge against currency fluctuations, preserve the value of their savings, and diversify their portfolios. As technology continues to evolve, the future of fintech in Nigeria looks promising, offering even more innovative ways to save, invest, and grow wealth in dollars.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Thus, it should not be taken as financial advice. Please do your own research before you use any of these platforms.
Editor's Note: Bundle Africa shut down in July 2023 to focus exclusively on its P2P payment platform. We have removed it from this article and replaced it with Rise.