Challenger bank Jefa aims unbanked women in Latin America

Jefa aims to bring banking services for unbanked women in Latin America.

A new challenger bank Jefa unveiled yesterday in the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt. New fintech banking startup founded by Emma Smith and based in New York. According to Smith's LinkedIn profile, Jefa backed by Magma Partners, Brian Requarth, On Deck Fund. For now challenger bank in the pre-seeding phase and looking for a new round to make this venture launch.

“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. That's very conspicuous truth. Usually, banks and banking services are designed for men. But Jefa wants the change the game.

There are already very successful startups in the Latin American market. Especially in Brazil and Mexico, some digital banks (Nubank, next, Banco Inter, Banco Original, Ualá) have powerful activities for serving mass segments and expanding to other countries. But Jefa looks like I believe that Jefa will inspire other fintech entrepreneurs and If its successful, Jefa will empower women in Latin America.

When Jefa launches in a few months, opening an account will be free. Jefa will provide a fully digital solution and a branchless experience. According to Smith, there will be no minimum balance requirement. To onboarding Jefa all you need is a government-issued ID and card delivery in a few days. Their reward program is called “It pays to be a woman" and when Jefa launched, women related spendings (okay let's more clear: hygiene products, gynecologist, etc.) will earn points to customers. Probably part of the launch campaign, it will be possible to redeem these points for cashback.

Jefa will be launching first in Central America, starting with Costa Rica and Guatemala. There are already 50,000 people on the waiting list. There is no detailed information on their official website but it looks like Jefa will issue Visa cards. And you can watch the very first video from Jefa below.

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