Can WeTrust Disrupt Payday Loans? Part 7. Sharing the Funds

This is Part 7 of a series of articles describing an experimental Trusted Lending Circle in East San Jose utilizing concepts from the WeTrust Platform.

For the introduction in Part 1, click here.

For Part 2, click here.

For Part 3, click here.

For Part 4, click here.

For Part 5, click here.

For Part 6, click here.

The Trusted Lending Circle (ROSCA) met in the boxing gym yet again this Monday, for the second to last distrubution. The recipients came down to myself and Toby, the only members who had not collected yet. Toby mentioned he did not have any pressing needs, and the group pressed me to take the funds.

At this point, I revealed that I had planned from the start to share my ROSCA pot with all of the members, as a thank you for participating. This is a common practice in many ROSCAs when one member is feeling particularly charitable. Since ROSCAs are composed of groups of trusted friends and family, it’s not unusual for one member to want to share their good fortune with the other members. People participate in ROSCAs not only for the financial benefits, but also as a way to be connected to their community.

In this case, participating in the ROSCA brought each of the members closer together. We learned more about each other’s lives, our family members, and the difficulties we had to face. We were able to support each other financially by leveraging our trust as members of the same boxing gym, without resorting to payday loan services. I was particularly impressed by the honesty and consistency with which each member of the ROSCA continued to participate, even after they had received their cashout. There was even enthusiasm among the people who had already received a cashout at being able to help their friends.

With one more week left to go, there was only Toby left to receive the final pot. Follow the WeTrust blog and tune in next week to see what he does with it!