Archive for May 24, 2012
CNN Money writes about immigrant entrepreneurs Roger Chinchilla and Grimaldy Dominguez (from Honduras and the Dominican Republic, respectively) who have started Refundo, a mobile banking service for Spanish speakers. Refundo was born from Chinchilla and Dominguez’ frustration at watching Latinos in Queens pay excessive fees to cash paychecks at check cashing outlets. The service, which is used by 50,000 people in several states including California, Florida and Louisiana, was started with a $24,000 microloan.
I wish this service good luck, it’s about time – what a fantastic opportunity to access this perennially underserved market and leverage their extensive use of mobile devices to access the internet. According to The Pew Hispanic Center’s recent report “Digital differences”, 25% of Hispanics check their bank balance or do online banking, compared to 15% of White, non-Hispanics (and 27% for Black Americans). Mobile banking is what, three or four years old? Makes sense that the first Mobile banking service to get a critical mass of Latinos signed up – even for free, as is the case with Refundo – will have a huge opportunity on its hands.