*This content is brought to you by Shyft, the global money app powered by Standard Bank.
Shyft, the global money app that makes it easy to buy and shop in US dollars, pounds and euros, now allows users to also invest using these currencies.*
Shyft, South Africa’s original global money app, is starting the year strong with the addition of two new stock exchanges for investors on the app: the London Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Shyft launched its global shares feature in August 2021 with a selection of just over 200 companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Stock Market, and spent the next two years gradually growing the number of US shares available on the app to close to 600 (598).
“We deliberately took this route as it allowed us to see what our investors liked and which instruments they would prefer instead of overwhelming them with 500 plus share options and ETFs from the get-go,” says Arno von Helden, who heads up Shyft at Standard Bank. “We prefer giving our customers a smaller selection of really good, well-known shares/stocks that we know they’d want to invest in and trade, and adjust the offering over time.” Other than that, says Arno, it’s simply a matter of size: “The New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ are both extremely large and count as the two most popular exchanges in the world with roughly 2 380 and 3 750 listed companies respectively.”
Even so, between the New York, London and Frankfurt stock exchanges, Shyft Shares now offers investors a wide choice of over 800 shares ranging from Tesla (TSLA) to Tesco (TSCO) and Volkswagen AG (VOW.DE) (VOW) to Visa (V), to name just a few.
Three ways to use three of the most sought-after currencies
The US dollar, pound sterling and euro make up the bulk of the currencies available via Shyft to travellers looking for foreign currency or online shoppers wanting to save on conversion fees. Now they can also buy and trade shares in all three of these currencies. (The fourth currency on the app is the Australian dollar, which currently can be used for travelling and shopping.)
From an investor’s point of view, there are three benefits to being able to choose from several exchanges, says Arno. “Number one is the choice of currency. Investors in the US will invest in dollars and those in the UK who are familiar with the UK environment want to invest in pounds. So it’s often a matter of what they are familiar with and prefer,” he says.
Then there’s the matter of choice. Although relatively smaller than the NASDAQ and New York stock exchanges, the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges include blue-chip names not listed in the US. London has the likes of Anglo American PLC (AAL), Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc (AML) and Unilever PLC (ULVR), while the Frankfurt bourse provides access to Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (BMW), Porsche Automobil Holding SE (PAH3) and Mercedes-Benz Group AG (MBG).
“Lastly, there is risk exposure and the opportunity to diversify so you don’t have all your eggs in the US basket,” says Arno. “The two additional stock exchanges create opportunities for everyone, including South Africans earning an income in foreign currency, to diversify their portfolios by diversifying across geographies.”
What can Shyft investors look forward to next?
“Our next primary objective is to add the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Shyft,” he says. “Our investors have been asking for it. The reason is simple: If you live in South Africa and earn rands, you want the option to trade and invest in rands. Buying international shares can be expensive for South Africans. Shares on the NASDAQ or London Stock Exchange can cost $200 or $300 per share. That’s R2 000 and more per share. In the South African market, you can acquire shares in good value companies for R100 or R200 per share. The barrier to entry is therefore a lot lower.”
Adding two exchanges to the app is the third feature Shyft launched in the past month. One was the introduction of Apple Pay for making contactless payments from users’ Shyft wallets, followed by the launch of the web app. This, too, came after customers asked to be able to sign up and use Shyft on their desktops. They’ve also recently added a selection of bitcoin ETFs to their offering, making it easier than ever for investors in more traditional assets, such as stocks and bonds, to dip their toes into crypto.
All Shyft’s features support the app’s main function – to give users access to the global market from a foreign currency perspective and from an investment perspective. Arno says, “Now Shyft users can not only travel and shop in pounds, but they can also invest in the UK; or they can buy euros for their travels, shop online in euros and buy shares in European companies. If you have dollars, you can send them, pay with them, and invest with them.”
Download Shyft for access to over 800 top international shares or visit Shyft.co.za to use the web app.
This post was sponsored by Shyft, the global money app powered by Standard Bank. Shyft makes it easier and more convenient for you to travel and shop internationally thanks to virtual cards that are available in four major currencies (USD, GBP, EUR and AUD). For a limited period, until 31 March 2024, Shyft users will pay zero card fees when using their Shyft physical (rand, forex or UnionPay International) or virtual cards to swipe, tap and check-out. ATM withdrawal fees still apply. Ts and Cs apply.
Visit Shyft to download it now, no matter where you bank. Shyft operates under the licence of The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP number 11287).
*The content provided is for informational purposes only. You should always do your own research and/or seek professional advice before making investment decisions.