Everybody Deserves Access to Mobile Banking

June 26, 2015

3:17 pm

Mobile banking might be an integral part of your day to day life, but there are a lot of people in the US that the Miami based Waleteros would classify as ‘underbanked’. These are people who don’t use or have a bank account and could benefit from using their smartphone as a banking solution.

According to Waleteros, Hispanics represent a disproportionate percentage of this group of underbanked US citizens. Traditionally, in order to meet their financial needs underbanked individuals will go to check cashing stores where they have to pay hefty fees to manage their finances.

Waleteros saw an opportunity here to offer digital services like check cashing, bill paying, and money transfers. And to make sure it’s as easy as possible to use they announced the launch of their flagship app on Android.

As the team tells us, the Hispanic demographic is adopting smartphones at a higher rate than anybody else. They also cited a study by Nielsen that finds Hispanic populations rely significantly on their smartphones for digital access.

“We are Latinos living in the US and we wanted to find a way to send money for less than $10. And guess what, we did much better than that,” says Etienne Gillard, cofounder of Waleteros. “Now anyone, regardless of whether they have a bank account or not, can send money anytime, anywhere for only 75 cents.”

Users only have to complete a short registration on the app before they receive a prepaid debit MasterCard with no monthly maintenance, minimum balance, or overdraft fees. The card itself can be used to make purchases in stores both domestically and internationally, online, and to withdraw money from a network of free ATMs.

It’s an incredibly smart business idea, and it actually took Waleteros to the finalist round of our second annual Celebrate Conference in 2014. Beyond that though, they participated in the 2014 Venture Hive Miami Accelerator class which helped them further establish a presence in the market vertical.

Part of what makes this idea so brilliant is that, unlike other platforms for underbanked populations, Waleteros cuts out the middleman. They make it easy to perform traditional banking transactions without actually having to deal with a bank, which is beyond awesome. Keep your eyes peeled for their iOS app launching next month.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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