Finding the right Sacco in Kenya – one that aligns with your goals – is essential for your financial growth and the safety of your money. It is, therefore, vital to do your homework beforehand to ensure you’re settling for the best deal.
But of the many options available, how do you find the best Sacco in Kenya?
There are no hard and fast rules for this, but the right Sacco for you is the one whose products and services resonate with your needs.
Here are some tips on choosing the best Sacco in Kenya:
Fees and rates
If you’re keen on getting a one-stop-shop, take the time check the interest rates that you would earn on deposit accounts and the rates you would pay on loans. Use this information to filter the options that you have. Trusted Saccos in Kenya publish the fee schedules and rates on their websites, so it shouldn’t be hard to compare. If you can’t find the information online, you may call their offices.
Saccos tend to have higher annual percentage rates on savings accounts and lower fee schedules than traditional banks. Those that operate virtually offer even better terms since they do not incur overhead charges that come with having numerous physical branches.
Related: How to Open a Savings Account that Enables You to Borrow against Your Savings
With the busy lifestyle, you may not have time to step into a branch, let alone wait on the long queues to make deposits or withdraw money. Therefore, you may want to consider a Sacco that integrates technology into their systems so you can do your transactions on the go. Checking for must-have features – like the automatic savings plans, budgeting tools, security measures, and the ability to transfer funds quickly to family or friends – can assist in narrowing down your list.
The simple fact that you’re looking for convenience doesn’t mean it’s okay to work with a virtual Sacco that has no physical office. Remote banking is an added advantage. So, before you join a Sacco, conduct extensive research about them. Check how reliable they are – you can do so by visiting their premises and verifying their licensing and registration documentation. Any reputable Sacco will offer or display their certificates.
Note that there are two kinds of Saccos in Kenya: the Front Office Services Activity (FOSA), and the Back Office Service Activity (BOSA) Saccos. Whichever type of Sacco you settle for, you should ensure that it’s registered, licensed, and regulated. The Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SARSA) governs all FOSA Saccos. The Commissioner of Cooperatives under the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives on the other hand, controls the BOSA Saccos.
In the internet era, it’s impossible for an institution to get away with bad practices. People will flock online to express their frustrations and anger in case they have a bad experience with a provider. They’ll show gratitude if they’re pleased with the services too. So before you sign in to a Sacco, spare some time to browse online for customer reviews and find out what the past clients are saying about them. Here, you’ll see the good and the bad side of the institution. The information will help you in making an informed decision.
Websites which are committed to customer reviews in the banking and financial industry can also offer incredible insights. Since the Sacco doesn’t influence the reviews, you can be sure that the information is accurate and true.
The safety of your money
You want to have insurance for your money, the same way you do for your home, your car, and your health. It is, therefore, crucial to find a reliable Sacco in Kenya that’s registered, insured, and regulated. This way, you’ll be sure that your money is safe and that your investment is worth the while. You don’t want to wake up one morning, only to find out that the institution is bankrupt.
Ask for referrals
The easiest way to find the best Sacco in Kenya is to ask the people within your circles – like your family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues. You’ll be surprised by how many people are saving their money and applying for loans with Saccos. People in your cycles will give you an unbiased opinion regarding a Sacco, which is what you need.