What’s in Your Susu Wallet?

When innovation looks a lot like building on what already works

In Ghana, most people save money through susu collectors, trustworthy people in the community who, for a fee, visit clients daily to collect small cash deposits, or susus.

Every day I give my susu collector money. I have been saving money with him for several years now. Whenever I need the money I call and he delivers it.

Anita, Kumasi

Because susus are already such a big part of Ghanaian savings practices, the team decided to model a Tigo Cash service on them. The key to this prototype was making an informal savings system feel more official. By putting agents in Tigo Cash uniforms and explaining the benefits of the formal service over informal susus, the team was able to leverage a popular informal savings practice to bring people into the world of formal finance.

One of our biggest insights from this project was that you’ve got to build on what works already works, especially when people are suspicious of formal institutions like banks, telcos, and others. By building a financial product that looked an awful lot like what people already knew and used, Tigo was able to leverage existing behavior and arrive at a far more human-centered financial product.

Tigo Cash continued to iterate on the prototype to launch Susu Wallet, which, to date, has over 70,000 customers.

More Stories