BezoMoney Challenges "Susu Box" Savings Culture, Introduces Digital Alternative
In partnership with notable Ghanaian Fintech, Zeepay, BezoMoney is making BezoSusu available to users across the country in the startup's massive growth plans. Ordinarily, the team of ten are digitizing a space left untouched by some of the country's most successful fintech hubs.
With support from MEST, Goodsoil VC, among many other BezoMoney partners, Mubarak Sumaila, CEO, and the BezoMoney team is replacing "under-bed saving boxes" with modern digital and customer friendly saving wallets.
BezoMoney graduated from MEST incubator in 2019, receiving $100,000 pre-seed to provide digital saving wallets for Ghanaians. In 2021, The Startup raised $200,000 in seed funding, led by Goodsoil VC, to launch and scale BezoSeries, BezoCredit, among other Bezo Inclusive financial products.
The Startup was founded by Mubarak Sumaila and Diana Osei in August 2019 to help consumers save money either individually or as a group and build financial credit through savings history. In a conversation with the Head of Marketing at BezoMoney, Adwoa Acheampomaa revealed unpopular insights into the financial behaviors of ordinary Ghanaians.
According to Adwoa Acheampomaa, many Ghanaians still save in mini boxes under their beds, a tradition commercialized as "Susu". This is an antitrust mechanism developed by many consumers against the country's mostly unreliable financial institutions. The marketing prodigy later elaborated the collective savings habit adopted by Union members across several communities in Ghana. The Market Women Association, Taxi Drivers Association, Local Church Groups, among others create unions with collective saving policies meant to enhance the quality of life of community members
Over the years, many citizens complained of irregularities in retrieving their saved capital. This reality reflects even among some financial institutions. In February 2020, customers of several failed savings and loans and Microfinance companies had to be paid back by the government for losing their savings and investments with the collapsed firms. The Bank of Ghana in 2020 also revoked the licenses of 347 Microfinance companies in Ghana, following the sector's inability to meet regulatory demands.
In an attempt to solve the antitrust culture of Ghanaians in Savings and Loans companies and Microfinance Institutions, BezoMoney developed BezoSusu and BezoSmartSavings. These USSD-powered platforms allow users to transfer cash from their Mobile Money wallets into their Bezo wallets, setting saving goals that are bound by pre—chosen commitments. By dialing *920*75#, any Ghanaian can conveniently sign up to the startup's saving plans. At the product's Beta stage, BezoSmartSavings has signed over 1000 users and has enlisted people across regions around Greater Accra onto the digital platform.
According to S&P's global financial literacy survey, Africans scored the worst in terms of financial literacy globally. The low financial literacy rate impedes the progress made by fintech companies across the country in their quest to digitize the space. In response, BezoMoney launched the BezoSeries, a podcast that provides sound financial education to the public. The goal of the podcast is to educate Ghanaians on the significance of saving and to assist BezoMoney customers in adopting healthy saving habits.
In subsequent quarters, the funded Startup hopes to launch other innovative mobile based products to provide insurance support, credit building opportunities, payment services, among other relevant fintech products to the traditional Ghanaian market.