Tech Savvy Banking, safe transactions during silly season

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Tech Savvy Banking, safe transactions during silly season

It started off as a distant myth from the faraway lands of the USA – a whisper in the wind of sorts. Many could scarcely believe their ears when rumours of its impending arrival first reached our shores. What once seemed a distant possibility had manifested into a tangible reality. Retailers trembled, the floors almost quaked in anticipation, people braced themselves. They watched, they waited, and they moved as one, united, to confront this anomaly head on. Since that day, South Africa has never been the same. Black Friday has arrived, and my word has it rocked our retail sphere to its very foundation.

While still in its infancy stages, the end of November has since evolved into far more than “great prices, busy malls”. In its own ironic way, the day has become a heaven for customers and retailers alike and serves to officially usher in the beginning of the much-anticipated festive shopping season. What began as a shopper’s paradise has since grown into something much larger. Recent years have seen a paradigm shift in consumer mindsets due to the implementation of new technology and the ease of access available to us. Shoppers are now smarter and armed with more information than ever before. As a result, Black Friday has come to offer more than just massive markdowns. Due to a now informed client base, Black Friday presents a smart way to capitalize on all money saving elements- meaning easy points, more transaction rewards from our financial providers and new ways to save big.

We’ve seen food, clothing, transport and even banking being integrated into a handheld device. The virtual world has opened a plethora of possibilities. The trend of online shopping has gained rapid traction in SA, and evidence suggests that the number of digital transactions has shown a steady increase in recent years.

Tech Savvy Banking, safe transactions during silly season

You’re probably thinking: cash is king, and I don’t trust banks – why should I care?

Good question. Statistics estimate that 65% of all transactions in South Africa are still done in cash. Easier? Debatable. But it certainly is familiar, and perhaps that’s what draws us to it. However, cash also presents its drawbacks, and the perks of online retail are fast eclipsing those of its tangible counterparts- particularly when you factor in reimbursements such as loyalty programmes and cash back discounts. The key benefits are simple: cards are safer, you earn rewards and you can quite easily control or measure how much you spend. We live in a country where, sadly, the risk of crime is always present. Why make yourself a target when you can click, swipe, pay and rest easy?

We’re not saying don’t go out and spend your hard-earned cash. In fact, you deserve a bit of retail therapy. But sometimes after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is face the wrath of a thousand angry shoppers. And who could blame you? November, December and even Jan represent a somewhat silly season for retailers and thieves alike. The importance of safe transactions can therefore never be understated. Banks have been quick to understand that it’s wiser to offer specials than play catch up to their competitors, and as such this opens a wealth of possibilities for you to save even while you spend. So, we advise finding out the best way to save big and stay safe this festive season.

Pretty soon festive season will be on us in full force. It’s about time we get to wind down and enjoy some Christmas shopping, but the notorious silly season for shoppers is also a silly season for greedy prowlers. Here are some tips to make sure your money is only spent on their intended recipients:

1) Be vigilant! Your parcels should always remain within eye shot. Thieves exist, so it’s wise to avoid unnecessary temptation.
2) Stash the cash, but if you are spending actual money, make sure not to flash it around. You never know who’s watching.
3) Plan, plan and plan again! Browse to your heart’s extent, but always have an idea of what big purchases you need to make in order to stick to your budget. Leave these purchases for last and eradicate the time spent hauling them around.
4) Keep a hand on those bags. Always.
5) Once your major purchases are made at the end of your shopping time, head straight home like it’s a bank in Monopoly.
6) Keep track of your belongings. You might feel like a Kardashian carrying those parcels around, but it’s safer and easier to account for when you combine them into one big bag instead.
7) Watch those kids! It’s a terrifying climate we find ourselves in. Teach them not to drift away, where to go if you’re separated, who the security guards are and always, always, always keep both eyes on them. And, for once, give them permission to scream if need be.
8) Your car is a commodity too! Be careful of remote jamming, put your purchases in the boot to avoid smash and grabs, get in quickly and driving out of there like you’re on your way to a last-minute hot date.

Tech Savvy Banking, safe transactions during silly season

Be smart, be vigilant and be aware that you can get through the day unscathed- if maybe a little broke. But you know what? It’ll be worth it.

If you are still wanting the convenience of having a card with no bank charges, why not get a Greenstone Gift Card.

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