Linking traditional banking with modern finance: Barclays microbanking - Susu Collectors Initiative

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Publication Date: 
01 September 2007
Robert Darko Osei
UN Millennium Development Goal: 
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Promote gender equality and empower women
Develop a global partnership for development

Susu collection, practiced for more three centuries in Africa, is an informal arrangement for mobilizing savings deposits from clients. Operators collect a predetermined installment of money from their client, daily or weekly. With about 4,000 active Susu collectors in Ghana and each serving 200–850 clients a day, Susu collection has become an established system (albeit informal) that meets an important need. In November 2005 Barclays Bank Ghana embarked on an initiative at the intersection of traditional banking and modern finance, leveraging Susu collection to extend microfinance to some of Ghana’s poorest people - the small trader at the market or the microentrepreneur selling from roadside stalls. The case looks at how the Barclays Ghana initiative augments the Susu collection scheme and the project’s impact on advancing Barclay’s corporate objectives.

Citation: Osei, Robert D. "Linking Traditional Banking with Modern Finance: Barclays Microbanking - Susu Collectors Initiative." GIM Case Study No. A009. New York: United Nations Development Programme, 2008