Chama are informal saving groups that are very popular in Kenya especially among women. These micro-saving groups can have members as little as five to hundreds.
The groups typically use a “merry-go-round” structure where all members contribute a fixed amount monthly, whose proceeds are then disbursed to one of the members. This is repeated till each member gets their turn.
Apart from the savings, most Chamas will also incorporate lending and group investment into their groups. The former typically involves giving members access to unsecured and emergency loans which may otherwise not be readily accessible from banks and other financial institutions.
Investments on the other hand are mostly undertaken to generate extra revenue as well as to empower members by creating self-employment opportunities.
The financial impact of these groups thus cannot be underestimated. Much of their impact however stands to be improved by tapping into innovative technology solutions for their management.
To this end, there exists a couple of Chama software that aim to simplify and improve their efficiency. Let’s take a look at them.
ChamaSoft provides as web based application which is also available as an app for Android and iOS. They run a subscription model to use the application with three plans based on the subscription period.
The Monthly plan is priced at Ksh600 monthly, the Quarterly plan at Ksh1500 and the Annual plan at Ksh5000. All the plans allow up to 20 members.
EazzChama is a chama online software provided by Equity Bank. Their solution looks like a replica of ChamaSoft with the exception that theirs is available only online.
Their pricing model is also different and offers no free account. They currently have only one plan limited to 20 members that is split into 3 subscription durations: monthly at Ksh250, quarterly at Ksh750 and annually at Ksh3000.
Similar to EazzyChama, Chamanett is also available as a web solution where you login into an online dashboard to manage your Chama. An app version is also available.
The software is available in 3 pricing plans which are by far the priciest in this list. They include a quarterly subscription for Ksh1500 and an annual subscription for Ksh5000, both of which are limited to 20 members.
The last plan provides access to the full software for a one-time payment, essentially geared to those that wish to buy the software rather than use a subscription model.
While there is no free account, potential customers can test the application in a 15-day trial before opting for any of the plans.
Tekeleza is available both as a web-based application and an app for Android. Unlike all the other solution provided here, Tekeleza provides a demo where users can test run the application and even create a test group.
The solution offers two plans: a limited Basic plan that’s free to use and a Gold plan with extra features that is priced at Ksh30/monthly per member.
DigiChama uses a different model as it provides their application in a modular way. This means their software can be customized to only provide the modules (i.e. features) that a Chama needs.
The best part about DigiChama however is that it is free to use though it does provide two paid plans with extra features and support.
These features include custom modules, data entry support and a custom sub-domain which allows a Chama to access the application on their own custom URL.
The Standard plan of the two starts at Ksh8000 with a yearly subscription of Ksh2500, while the Extended plan is a customized solution with varying prices depending on the customer’s requirements.