Sou-sou, the ancient, informal savings system popular in many parts of West Africa, has come to America, where an African immigrant is reinventing and revamping it.
It's clear the sou-sou system has survived and been such a success in West Africa for this long because it allows enables a member of a sou-sou savings club to achieve in a few weeks what it would take them a whole year and more to do bythemselves.
He set up a website, sou-sous. com, for what he claims are the million or so Africans in the US who are members of a sou-sou club and who would welcome the opportunity to see sou-sou online.
You can now, using Bill Gwanyalla's sou-sous.com portal, join a club, be cleared for membership, and deposit your sou-sou cash in an online account in a matter of minutes.
Now all it takes is a click of a mouse for a person to apply to join a sou-sou club in, say, Texas or Georgia or anywhere else in America they choose.
If all this sounds less safe and secure than simply gathering at the home of a fellow sou-sou club member and then depositing your money in the hand of the club's manager, Bill Gwanyalla says this is not so.
He always worried that when he was meeting at a sou-sou event, where there was often as much as $24,000 in cash present, that he and other sou-sou members were making themselves targets for robbery.
"I wanted to take sou-sou, something that West Africans have been using for years, into the technological era, and make it modern."
But sou-sou traditionalists have misgivings about these digital developments.