Susu (informal loan club)

Not to be confused with the related, but mediated form of Susu as predominantly practiced in Ghana.

Susu is an informal means of collecting and saving money through a savings club or partnership, practiced in Ghana and the Caribbean. It is usually taking turns by "throwing hand" as the partners call it. They pay a specific amount of money in one hand when it is collected to a person. Each month, every person in the group will collect a sum of money until the next time, when another susu is thrown.[1]

The concept of a susu is used throughout the world and has over 200 different names that vary from country to country.[2] The name is from the Susu from the Twi language to mean 'plan'.[1][3] The funds are generally gathered with a set amount contributed from family or friends each week.[1] An estimated three quarters of Jamaican immigrants in New York participated in susus during the 1980s[4]

The savings clubs are mainly used in other countries as an alternative means of accessing capital when traditional lending is not readily available. As cultures migrated to the United States, they brought the savings tradition with them. Not surprisingly, the "underbanked" will turn to the model to escape the same lack of access to capital.

The model remains very popular in various offline community associations such as Lending Circle in San Francisco and the Bay Area Nigerian Association in Oakland, California. The younger generations[5] have now created companies that modernized susus with an online platform to increase the scalability and the transparency of such model. They include eMoneyPool, Monk App, and Puddle in the US and Partnerhand in the UK.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Sasha Abramsky Newcomers Savings and Loan October 22, 2000 New York Times
  2. "ROSCAs: Whats in a name?".
  3. Tibbles, Anthony (2005). Transatlantic slavery: against human dignity. Liverpool University Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-85323-198-2.
  4. Jamaican Emigres Bring Thrift Clubs to New York June 19, 1988, New York Times
  5. "Traditional Mexican Savings System's Grow in Popularity".
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