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Mastercard and Juvo Tackle the Problem of Underbanked Consumers in Latin America

Juvo was accepted into Mastercard’s global fintech startup engagement program, Start Path, last August. Now, Mastercard and Juvo will take Juvo’s FiDaaS platform to financial institutions across Latin America and the Caribbean to help them r­­each underbanked consumers.

Juvo, a pioneer of financial identities for the underbanked, today announced a new partnership with Mastercard. Juvo was accepted into Mastercard’s global fintech startup engagement program, Start Path, last August. Now, Juvo is collaborating with Mastercard’s Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) team to introduce its FiDaaS (Financial Identity as a Service) platform to hundreds of financial institutions across the region. FiDaaS will enable these institutions to confidently serve a much broader base of customers and drive financial inclusion.

Juvo’s FiDaaS platform builds financial identities using alternative transaction data. With the help of machine learning tools, Juvo analyzes users’ transactions and verifies their ability to access financial services, take out insurance and repay loans. Across Latin America tens, possibly hundreds of millions of people are outside the reach of traditional credit bureaus. This creates a lack of meaningful data on which financial institutions can make decisions about who they serve. The result is that the majority of Latin American and Caribbean consumers remain underbanked, and the addressable market for financial institutions across the region is significantly reduced.

“Mastercard’s Start Path program identifies the best and brightest later stage fintech startups – Juvo is firmly in this category,” said Amy Neale, Senior Vice President, Mastercard. “We work with fintechs to co-innovate and uncover opportunities to drive the next generation of commerce, payment & fintech solutions between Mastercard and banking and commerce partners. We have been very impressed by Juvo’s track record of delivery to mobile and banking customers, and the innovation, robustness and suitability of its FiDaaS platform.”

“We have hundreds of financial institutions, retailers and fintechs as customers across Latin America and the Caribbean. Juvo’s FiDaaS platform can help every one of them grow – it has excellent market fit,” said Thiago Dias, VP Fintech Strategy and Labs, LAC, Mastercard. “The traditional credit bureau system works well in developed countries, but across LAC lack of credit data restricts access to vital financial services for hundreds of millions of credit-worthy people. Using alternative data, FiDaaS provides financial institutions the information they need to make critical business decisions. In turn, these insights will open access to financial services for huge swathes of the population, supporting the drive for financial inclusion.”

“Over the last 6 years, we’ve proven the reliability of the FiDaaS platform by offering mobile phone users in developing markets more than $1 billion in microloans for mobile airtime. That was important in helping to perfect the FiDaaS platform but make no mistake, this deal with Mastercard represents a huge step towards the achievement of our vision for Juvo,” said Steve Polsky, founder and CEO of Juvo.

“Financial institutions across LAC face a dilemma: consumers can’t demonstrate their creditworthiness to gain access to credit. Without access to credit, however, consumers can’t establish creditworthiness. Using FiDaaS, financial institutions can rapidly and dramatically expand the addressable market for their services while minimizing risk. Banks face new competitive pressures and commodification of transactional services, and they need to unlock new addressable markets and deliver new services. We believe that establishing reliable, secure financial identities for underbanked consumers is the key to solving this problem,” concluded Polsky.


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