Frequently Asked Questions

Rotational Savings Clubs

What is Esusu?

Esusu is a mobile app that helps people create and manage Rotational Savings Clubs with their friends and family members.

What are Rotational Savings Clubs?

A Rotational Savings Club is a group of individuals who save and borrow together in a form of peer-to-peer banking. Group members contribute funds into a pool on a regular basis, and then take turns withdrawing funds from the pool.

Rotational Savings Clubs are also known as tandas (Latin America), partnerhand (West Indies/UK), cundinas (Mexico), susu (West Africa and the Caribbean), hui (Asia), Game'ya (Middle East), kye (South Korea), tanomosiko (Japan), pandeiros (Brazil), juntas or quiniela (Peru), and arisan (Indonesia).

Apple vs. Android

What do I need in order to sign up to Esusu?

You need an i-Phone, a valid US Social Security Number and a US bank account in your name.

Is there an Android version of Esusu?

No, not at this time. Esusu plans to release an Android version in 2018.

Can I use an international phone (provided it is an iPhone)?

You cannot register for Esusu using an international phone. You may be able to use the Esusu app internationally if you have a US Sim Card or a Twilio US phone number. You should consult with your phone carrier before trying to use the Esusu app internationally.

Esusu Fees

Are there transaction fees?

Esusu charges each group a flat subscription fee of $10 per pay-in cycle, which is allocated equally amongst the members in the savings group.

Example 1: if there are three (3) members in a savings group, and they each make monthly contributions into their collective group fund, each member will pay a fee of $3.33 per month.

Example 2: if there are ten (10) members in a savings group, and they each make contributions into their collective group fund every two weeks, each member will pay a fee of $1 every two weeks.

We do not charge any other fees at this time.

Payment Processing & Data Security

Your bank account must be linked to the Esusu platform so that payments between group members can be processed in a way that is convenient for you.

Do you store my bank account details?

Please see our Privacy Policy for information regarding this topic.

Why do you need my Social Security Number?

We ask people to provide their Social Security Number (SSN) during registration, as described in our Privacy Policy, as part of an industry standard process known as ‘Know Your Customer’ so that we can validate user identities. This is an important measure to ensure the platform safety of all Esusu users. Esusu also plans to report each user’s payment history on the platform to credit bureaus to help them build their credit score, and a SSN is required as part of this process.

Should your SSN not work, we can alternatively verify your identity through an official US government ID such as a passport or driver’s license.

Is my money FDIC insured?

Esusu’s payment processor works with a FDIC insured bank and all amounts for individual users are insured up to the FDIC maximum of $250,000.

Is my data secure?

Esusu uses industry standards to encrypt and safeguard your information. Furthermore, we do not store information about your bank account after it is linked.

How do I make group payments?

Payments are made directly from your linked bank account via SynapseFI, our payment processing partner.

How do I receive group payouts?

Group payouts are deposited directly into each member’s linked bank account. Please allow 1 to 2 business days for payment processing to occur.

Can I use a credit card to participate in a group?

No, not at this time, because credit cards have high transaction fees.

Can I change my payment method after the cycle started?

You are welcome to change the bank account that you have linked to the Esusu platform.

Can I use an international bank?

No, not at this time. We are exploring ways to expand to international banks.

What if I don’t have a bank account?

At this time our platform requires a basic bank account. We are exploring ways to expand Esusu to individuals without a bank account.

Can I make payments on behalf of someone or can someone make payments for me?

No.

Can I share my account?

Please do not share your account details with anyone.

What if my account is hacked?

If you suspect that your account has been hacked, please email us using the Esusu website contact form.

When should I report behavior to Esusu?

All fraudulent, hazardous, or questionable activities should immediately be reported to Esusu Support. Behavior that should be reported includes: (1) Failure to pay; (2) Harassment on group chats; (3) Suspicion of money laundering.

Credit Scores

How does Esusu help me build up my credit score?

Esusu may report your payment activity on the platform to America’s main credit bureaus. When you keep your commitments to your group members, your credit score may benefit.

In addition, Esusu may compile a unique ‘Esusu Score’ that can serve as alternative proof of creditworthiness. Credit is designed to be a proxy for trust. For individuals with limited credit history this is very difficult to build in a short-time frame. Thus the Esusu score looks to provide an alternative way for financial institutions to evaluate your trustworthiness as a borrower or bank user.

What happens when a group member does not keep their payment commitment?

If a person doesn't make their contributions, Esusu may report their default to the credit bureaus just like any other unpaid bill.

Joining and Leaving Groups

How do I create a group?

Once you have downloaded the app and completed the registration process, it will prompt you to create a group. You will need to enter a group name, set the number of members, amount of each payment, and frequency of payment.

What are my obligations as a group leader?

As a group leader you have the following obligations: (1) set the savings and payout parameters of the group; (2) invite people to participate; and (3) help encourage group members to keep their savings commitments.

How do I join a group?

If you do not set up a group yourself, you may be invited to join a pre-existing group. Invitations are issued by text message and email.

Can I join a group if I am not invited?

At the moment you must receive an electronic invitation to join an existing group. You can also create your own group.

What if someone abandons the group and stops making payments?

Esusu will send an electronic warning notice to any individual who fails to keep their commitment to the group they are a part of. If the group member owes money to other members, Esusu will process an auto-payment from that person’s linked bank account. If the withdrawal attempt fails, the individual will be blocked from using the Esusu platform, and any balance they owe will be sent to a collection agency. The missed payment will also be communicated to credit bureaus.

Can I be leave a group before the payment cycle is complete?

No, once you have committed to joining a group you need to stay a part of it until the payment cycle is complete. It would be unfair to other group members if you were able to terminate your agreement in the middle of the cycle.

How is the order of payouts chosen?

The group leader is responsible for determining the payout order.

Can the payout order be changed after the cycle has already started?

No, not at present. In future versions Esusu will allow members to request changes to the payout order.

Can the leader of a group be changed?

No, not at this time. In future versions Esusu will allow group leaders to change.

Banking & Payments Partner

Who is Esusu’s banking partner?

Esusu partners with Evolve Bank & Trust to hold all money transacted on the platform. Evolve Bank & Trust is fully FDIC insured and PCI Compliant.

Who is Esusu’s payments partner?

Esusu partners with SynapseFI for all payment processing and transacting.

How can I reach Esusu’s banking and payment partners?

To report a complaint relating to the bank or payment services, email help@synapsefi.com. Please also reach out to support@esusu.org in order to ensure any issues are resolved.

Where can I learn about Esusu’s partners Terms & Conditions or Policies?

SynapseFI’s Terms and Conditions can be viewed here, their Privacy Policy is available here, and additional Legal Resources can be found here.