Villagers in Boeung Kak district in Phnom Penh, cast their bids for another round of tontine, an informal banking system that remains popular throughout Cambodia, despite the rise of a legitimate finance sector. Simply put, participants contribute a fixed amount of money to a communal pot, but bid against each other to see who gets to withdraw the total at the end of each monthly round. In the absence of banks, tontine has allowed generations of Cambodians to have access to ready cash. “I would rather save money with a credit union than a bank because it pays a higher return than a bank,” said Kong Chantha. “I was able to get money from tontine to pay my son’s and daughter’s university fees,” she said.