Hello Forex, Hello World

There was once a time when preparing for international travel required you to add “Buy forex” to

your to-do list. This would entail a trip to your nearest bureau de change with your passport,

visa, flight details, and confirmation of your blood type in hand. Okay, the last one may be an

exaggeration, but you get the point – it was an unnecessary foray into your private matters.

Thankfully, fintech is turning run-of-the-mill financial transactions into easy, convenient and

confidential exercises, and currency exchange is not exempt – making it possible for globally

minded individuals to travel, shop and invest abroad without any fuss.

The fintech fix

The global fintech market is a fast-growing one, and is set to enjoy continued growth, with

forecasters predicting that it will reach a value of $16,652,680 million by 2028. This is hardly

surprising, considering the array of banking and investing activities one can complete on a

smartphone, negating the need for appointments at the bank or any other time-consuming task

therein, including buying forex.

Being able to purchase forex without the fuss isn’t simply about travel ease, though. For the

client focused on international opportunities, global markets, and a diversified portfolio, it's an

opportunity to catapult investment activities to the next level – making it easier for you to reach

the financial milestones you have in mind for you and your loved ones. In this sense, global

money apps such as award-winning Shyft are revolutionising forex purchases.

Protecting your portfolio

When it comes to investing and money talk, we hear a great deal about the d-word:

diversification. If we’re not being reminded about American-born British banker Sir John

Templeton’s words to “Diversify. In stocks and bonds, as in much else, there is safety in

numbers”, we’re being told that “Diversification is the only free lunch” – words attributed to

Nobel Prize laureate Harry Markowitz. Investing in forex is a well-considered method of

diversifying and adding resilience to your portfolio. It doesn’t get as much attention as stocks

and bonds that’s for sure, but it’s no less valuable as a means of securing your assets and

setting yourself up for investment success.

Having purchased forex, it then becomes possible to invest abroad, allowing you to enjoy the

benefits of geographically diverse investments.

The Shyft solution

If you have ever purchased foreign currency, you will likely have experienced the inconvenience

that comes with currency fluctuations – especially in today’s turbulent landscape. However,

Shyft solves this in a number of ways. Firstly, the app allows you to view and compare live

exchange rates, so you can buy your currency of choice on the app (currently USD, GBP, EUR

and AUD) when it’s at a rate that’s favourable to you. Secondly, because Shyft offers forex at

the cheapest rate, you enjoy savings and can get more value for your Pula. Thirdly, Shyft allows

you to store forex on the app indefinitely, so you are never under pressure to utilise the funds.

Arno von Helden, Founder and Head of Shyft, notes that this is a means “to protect yourself

against currency fluctuations”.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Global Markets, Lebea Sephuma, adds: “The technology is not

only revolutionary, but relevant. Taking the hassle out of forex transactions is what so many

have been asking for, and now it is here”. With the hassle factor removed, and the frustrations

of currency fluctuations well taken care of, you are now in a position to use your forex


In this regard, Shyft makes it possible for users to invest in over 300 leading shares and ETF

options right from their phones. Whether you’re in Gaborone, Kasane, Otse, or Serowe (or

anywhere in between, for that matter), you can secure your stake in the likes of Chinese

multinational tech company Alibaba (HGK), leading plant-based meat substitutes maker Beyond

Meat (BYND), tech giant Microsoft (MSFT), electric vehicle maker Tesla (TSLA) and/or a range

of top-performing ETFs.

About the app

First launched in South Africa in 2017, Shyft has seen significant uptake over the years –

acquiring over 100 000 users to date and enjoying a very strong reception as well as several

accolades. In 2022, Shyft won three New Generation Awards – gold for Best Customer

Experience (CX) of the Year; silver for Most Innovative App Developed by a Corporate; and

silver for Best Use of Technical Innovation. At the Finnovex Southern Africa Awards 2022, the

app won top honours in the Excellence in Fintech – Payments category. The app was

recognised as the MTN Business App of the Year overall winner and top app in the financial

services category in 2017 and in 2021.

“We’re delighted that Shyft is now available in Botswana. We look forward to our clients taking

full advantage of the possibilities that come with access to forex. Be it for shopping and

travelling internationally, or investing abroad, we are confident that using Shyft will be

beneficial”, concludes Sephuma.


By Lebea Sephuma, Head of Global Markets, Stanbic Bank Botswana

Previous Post Next Post