A 2016 FinAccess study indicates that 41% of Kenyan adults use informal financial groups such as merry-go-rounds or chamas whereas only 32% of the population held ordinary bank accounts. Analysts often stress on their unreliability and the risk of loss of money when members of the group default. So, why do so many people continue to use them? What is their enduring appeal?

The research undertaken for Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya over the last six years demonstrates how Kenyans want their money to help them live well.

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