Savings as a goal or urgent financial need is an issue that coincides with what we are exposed to in terms of life situations and conditions. One of the oldest and most popular saving methods in Arab and Muslim countries, especially Egypt is a group saving association known as ‘Al-Gameya’.
The idea of ‘Al-Gamaeya’ revolves around the agreement between a group of individuals who each pay a certain sum of money on a monthly basis, then everyone takes turns taking the total amount of money at the end of each month. For example, in a group of ten, each person pays 1000 riyals every month, so every month, one member of the 10-person group gets 10,000 riyals, the order of who gets their when is agreed upon among the participants. One Gameya is usually organized to run over the course of a year, but it could be arranged to go on for two years or longer, depending on the number of members.
Traditionally, AL-Gameya is organized among a group of people who know and trust each other, such as work acquaintances, friends, or family members. Among themselves, the participants of Al-Gamaeya choose one of them to be the leader and organizer of El-Gamaeya, in terms of following up with the participants and making sure everyone gets their deserved share on time each month. This person is usually the person in common between all participants who everyone trusts.
The Monthly Gameya
Often, people go for Gameya when they have an obligation to pay a large amount of money at one installment but don’t have that money on hand at the time. So, they take part in a Gamaeya to get the money, and pay it off in interest-free monthly installments, in other words, Gamaeya installments.
Usually, people need to take part in a Gameya for big obligations such as paying school tuition, buying a car, buying a house, getting married, having a new baby, or any other major life obligations. However, you could always participate in a Gameya to use as an organized saving system.
Due to its high effectiveness, some people were led to digitize the idea of El-Gamaeya so that it fits more into our modern internet-dependent world. Hence what is now known as the ‘Digital Gamaeya’ or ‘E-Gamaeya’.
Through the E-Gameya applications, the same concept of the traditional Gamaeya is implemented through an online system that facilitates the process and gives more options for users to find the Gamaeya that suits their financial needs best.
How to participate?
Through the application, a single person can participate in more than one Gameya if their monthly income allows it. The potential participant registers their data through the application while attaching their Facebook account to verify their identity and ensure their integrity. They would also have to attach their bank information or an HR letter verifying their monthly income.
After the subscriber enters their data and selects the appropriate Gameya for their income and desire, the application shows the roles or months available to obtain the full amount of the Gameya so that they can choose what meets their needs.
The participant will then have to sign a binding contract between the website, either through a dispatched delegate or going over to the company’s branch. Monthly payments are then made through e-banking, a representative, or ‘Fawry/ service.
According to the companies and associates responsible for Gameya websites and applications, to ensure the full commitment of the person after receiving the amount of the Gamaeya, they are obligated to sign a trust receipt with the remaining installments of the Gameya, so that there is no opportunity for fraud or manipulation.
The Best Gamaeya Applications
Currently, there are so many different E-Gamayea applications. One of which is the ‘ElGamaeya’, which is a digital application specialized in managing Gamaeyas easily via smartphones. It is responsible for collecting funds and organizing the turns of payments between subscribers.
There is also ‘El-Gameya El-Shahreya’ application, for Android and Apple devices, and through which it is possible to participate in one or more Gamaeyas.
Another popular Gameya application is ‘Hawshly’ which aims mainly to achieve financial security in cases of financial distress or needs to purchase an expensive service item of any sort. With ‘Hawshly’, each participant is obligated to adhere to paying a specific amount that can not compromised except at the time of need.
It is noteworthy that “online Gamaeyas” have now spread to over 90 countries around the world, including the United States of America, France, and India. However, the terms and conditions differ, of course, according to each country’s laws and traditions.