Presented by Standard Bank

Shyft – Share trading and Forex made simple

I’ve been tempted to try my hand at international investing for several years, but have always been intimidated by the red tape that is traditionally part of this process.

When Standard Bank invited me to try their Shyft App, I was therefore curious to see how much investing I’d actually be able to do through a single app.

After taking the Shyft app for a spin, I’m incredibly impressed with what it has to offer – and I’m excited to see how my investments pan out.

The Shyft app is far more than just an investing app, however – it allows you to buy and sell forex, invest in international shares, create and use virtual cards across several currencies, and much more – all from the comfort of your smartphone.

You don’t have to be a Standard Bank customer to use the app – it is available to anyone through the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

This is awesome as many other banks require you to have an account with them if you want to use their forex services.

Signing up

Once I had downloaded and opened the Shyft app, I found the account creation process to be quick and simple.

The five-step process for a non-Standard Bank customer is shown below.

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Note: I also asked one of my colleagues who is a Standard Bank client to sign up. The process was just as simple – and crucially, it was also completely secure.

Once I entered the app with my new profile, I was greeted by an intuitive home page that gave me a summary of my holdings across all supported currencies – ZAR, USD, GBP, EUR, and AUD.

The app also includes a live page that tracks the exchange rate for these currencies, as well as dedicated Transact and Shares tabs.

However, before I could use these features, I needed to authenticate myself. Thankfully, this does not entail going into a branch – I did it all online, and it was incredibly simple.

The verification process can take up to 48 hours, but I had full access to the app’s features within just two hours.

Ease of use

As someone with almost no experience with this sort of app, one of my main concerns would be that I would not understand how anything works.

Thankfully, one of the biggest benefits of the Shyft app is that it is incredibly simple to use.

The interface is absolutely seamless and it is therefore no surprise that Shyft positions itself as far more than just an app for investing – it can also be used transactionally in a variety of circumstances.

The app makes it even simpler to pay other Shyft users – making it the ideal tool for splitting payments and bills between friends or family.

I am confident that users of all digital literacy levels will find the app easy to navigate – making it the ideal option for everyone from the rookie user who just wants to buy dollars, to seasoned traders.

Despite the app’s simplicity, I chatted with some colleagues who use other forex tools, and they were really impressed with various features that they don’t have access to – like the ability to create virtual cards in foreign currencies (more on this later).

It is therefore clear that Shyft strikes the perfect balance between being easy to use and offering a rich suite of features.

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Key features

One of the first features I checked out was the ability to invest internationally.

This is something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, as global markets offer a less volatile environment than the local opportunities available.

I’ve always assumed that the only opportunities to invest in international shares would involve lots of red tape and complicated processes – but Shyft destroys this preconception.

Loading money into your Shyft Wallet is really easy – from the Globalview screen, all you have to do is tap Quick Actions, Top Up Wallet, and then Top Up (for the wallet you wish to add money to).

You will be presented with bank details that you can use to send an EFT from your traditional bank account to your Shyft account.

Now that you have money in your Shyft Wallet, all you have to do is choose the Shares tab, tap on Trade Now, and select the shares you want to buy.

The Shyft app offers extensive information about each of these shares – including their recent price trends, their current price, and a description of the company – so you’ve always got a ton of data at your fingertips should you want it.

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The Shyft app’s many international money options offer another great way to invest – as well as incredible transactional features.

If you want to invest in foreign currencies, you can purchase them using your Shyft Wallet.

Simply choose the Forex tab and tap Buy on the currency you want to purchase.

If you want to buy USD with your rand balance, for example, you will then select ZAR and USD, specify the appropriate ZAR or USD value, and tap Get a Live Rate.

If you are happy with this rate, accept it, and you will receive your foreign funds – which you can hold onto as an investment.

However, if you’re wanting to spend these foreign funds, you can also add them to a virtual card in a foreign currency.

This is great for online shopping, as you can shop globally and manage your international subscriptions easily.

This feature was my main interest, as you often get much better prices if you buy from international retailers, and there are some subscriptions where you get more value if you subscribe to the global version.

If you are a fan of travelling, you can also use this virtual card for day-to-day purchases when you visit other countries.

To create a virtual card, from the Globalview tab, tap Quick Actions and then Manage Cards, before selecting the relevant currency.

Then tap Create Virtual Card and enter the Card description, your phone number, and a 5-digit security code. Once you tap Create Virtual Card again, your virtual card will be generated immediately.

You can access this virtual card by navigating from the Globalview tab to Quick Actions and Manage Cards, before selecting the card’s currency and tapping on the card in question.

I was stunned at how easy it was to create a virtual card that allows me to make purchases in British Pounds – and I’m now looking forward to shopping for football memorabilia online.

Get the Shyft app

In this review, we’ve only scratched the surface, as the Shyft app offers a variety of other cool features.

My recommendation is that if you’re at all curious about the Shyft app, download it and sign up, as it’s completely free and really impressive.

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Shyft – Share trading and Forex made simple