“There are 1.4 billion people in the world without a bank account. Out of those 1.4 billion, nearly 1.3 billion are women,” said Emma Smith, CEO and founder of Jefa.
For example, banks often require a minimum balance, even though women statistically earn less than men. Similarly, women may have difficulty travelling to a branch in person to open an account if the family only has one car or they are responsible for childcare.
“It’s for these reasons that we thought we needed a fully digital solution that is branchless. We have no minimum balance requirement; all you need is a government-issued ID and you can sign up in three or four minutes,” explained Smith.
Jefa will provide customers with a card to go with the account. The platform also includes a built-in savings feature and peer-to-peer payments transfers. Customers will also be able to withdraw cash from the network of merchants associated with the bank.
The neobank will launch first in Central America, starting with Costa Rica and Guatemala. There are already 50,000 people on the waiting list.
Read more on TechCrunch.