A social network-based architecture for on-line RoSCAs in the developing world

Source of Publication

Proceedings of the 4th Annual Symposium on Computing for Development, ACM DEV 2013


Rotating Saving and Credit Associations (RoSCA) (known as tontines in francophone Africa) are financial systems involving groups of individuals who put money together periodically and take turns to collect the kitty. They are off-line systems and are very popular in the developing world. However, they now face several challenges (e.g. geographical distance between participants, safety risks related to manual financial operations). An evolution towards on-line systems is now a necessity and this paper is a first step in that direction. It proposes an architecture which handles the participants of ROSCAs as end-users of a social network. The proposed social network accommodates poorly literate end-users who may live in areas with no Internet connection. It also integrates an on-line payment system. The rich cellular network connectivity that is commonplace in most developing countries is used to offset the poor Internet connectivity. Speech technologies (e.g. Interactive Voice Response - IVR, speech to text - STT, text to speech - TTS) are used to address the literacy issue.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding



Publication Date