Jiko, a fintech start-up that uses client deposits to buy short-term treasury bills, announced its first bank as a service (BaaS) customer today. It will partner with Euphoria, a technological suite for the transgender community that is helping alleviate struggles associated with gender transition, to launch a banking app called Bliss.
Between 2 and 6 million people in the United States identify as transgender, and 34% do not have their gender identification, which makes it more difficult for them to access banking products, the company wrote in his press release. Most banks’ compliance processes don’t adapt to individuals in this situation, but Jiko worked with Euphoria to customize the “know your customer” process for Bliss to allow users to open accounts with other forms of verification.
“Formal identification presents a huge challenge for transgender people,” Euphoria founder and CEO Robbi Katherine Anthony told TechCrunch in an email.
“It takes time, resources and in some cases the right laws to update your legal documents. If you are in the process of updating your documents, it creates the possibility that the mismatches will be reviewed by the banks, and it could prevent someone from opening an account, ”Anthony wrote.
Anthony noted that Euphoria connected to Jiko through one of his investors, who is friends with Jiko’s co-founder, Rocky Motwani. From this initial conversation, a partnership emerged.
Euphoria estimates that aligning with a traditional bank to create a platform for her community would have taken 12-18 months to implement, while Jiko was able to help them launch Bliss in just a few months, according to the press release. .
The movement aligns with that of Jiko planned pivot away from consumer services and towards B2B offers. It charges partners a fixed monthly fee for each account. Each account holds client funds in government-guaranteed treasury bills, allowing its account holders to spend these funds in real time through debit transactions.
“The idea behind Jiko’s construction is to provide, for one of the safest possible levels of risk, full spending capacity, at the best available rate. And the instrument which historically provides this level of risk-return is the Treasury bill ”, Jiko CEO and co-founder Stéphane Lintner told TechCrunch in an email.
While Euphoria is Jiko’s first BaaS customer, Lintner said Jiko has a robust pipeline. The company is in talks with money transfer platforms in the Latin American community and has seen demand increase from businesses and crypto firms who want to store money, according to Lintner.
“The great part of our basic product is that it is the same for everyone. Neobanks, community and lifestyle apps primarily require card issuance and retail accounts. But a very large corporate treasury platform with Fortune 500 companies would also use the same API to open accounts for its corporate clients and help them store their daily cash, ”Lintner wrote.